In the aftermath of the devastating shootings at an LGBT nightclub located in Orlando, Donald Trump immediately reemphasized his plea to ban Muslim immigration coming into the United States. If the suggestion is listened to, millions of people from a minimum of 40 different countries could be severely affected. According to Senator Jeff Sessions, the implied Obama Administration that gives people from predominately Muslim countries issuance of green cards was problematic. Sessions also announced a report illustrating how foreigners were primarily responsible for U.S terrorist attacks.
The Muslim-American community are familiar with how fears of terrorism have lead to sudden and arguably unfair changes to the immigration system. Following the San Bernardino attacks in December, Congress has made numerous changes with significant implications. For example, individuals that are dual nationals or have recently visited countries included Iraq, Iran, Sudan and Syria is no longer included in the Visa Waiver Program.
Despite sudden massive changes, there are substantial reasons to believe that the people of America aren’t for the changes that Trump works so hard to make happen. Results from the Brookings Institute poll carried out by Non-resident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami revealed that an astonishing 61% of Americans are against the idea of a total ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Moreover, only 38% of Americans supported such a change in policy. Interestingly, of all the people that completed the survey, 59% said that they are in support of refugees being allowed to go to the U.S after completing security measures, even from unstable countries in the Middle East, including Syria.
For the people that were against the notion of accepting refugees were those that feared terrorist attacks. The largest number of individuals in this category was Trump supporters according to the data. The economic burden that comes with accepting refugees was selected by 41% of respondents as a reason for not allowing refugees into the U.S. A mere 9% of people felt concerned about allowing more Muslims to enter the country. These figures are in direct opposition with Trumps pressing ideas that target Muslim groups.
Moreover, people who took part in the poll were asked to guess how many refugees had been arrested for terror attacks since the 9/11 attack in the U.S. While 30% estimated less than 100 refugees, 28% guessed more than 100. However, only three people have been arrested in connection with terror attacks since the 9/11. This date shows an apparent misconception between the perception that the public has, the reality of terror attacks and American’s beliefs about migrants from the Middle East.
These findings oppose Trump’s immigration narrative and highlight American citizens’ willingness to accept and welcome refugees and migrants, especially those that are trying to escape horrifying conflicts in the Middle East.