A majority of Americans see refugees as a risk apart from other legal immigrants.
A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows two-thirds of Americans say the benefit of admitting legal immigrants outweighs the risk. But when it comes to refugees—those fleeing persecution—a bare majority, 52 percent, says the risks are great enough to limit their entry into the United States.
“It’s scary to the average American person because, you might be Muslim but I don’t know if you’re a radical Muslim and if you believe that you should execute me and chop my head off, we don’t know that,” said Trish Wilkerson a President Donald Trump supporter who attended one of his campaign rallies last fall.
But Nawara Chakaki, a Syrian-American who helps Syrian refugees in Colorado, says the fear is misplaced.
“I don’t see the risks. I see it’s just benefit. I think they’re vetted long enough. That’s a non-issue.’’
President Donald Trump has long linked tougher immigration limits to a safer country, and on Monday signed a new travel ban that, in part, will suspend refugee travel to the U.S. for four months except for those already on their way to the United States.
The new order, which takes effect on March 16, will impose a 90-day ban on entry to the United States for people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen—all Muslim-majority nations—who are seeking new visas. It is Trump’s second effort at a travel ban. The first was blocked by the courts.