Gallup: More Americans favor allowing refugees from Central America

Detained children sit on pads behind fencing near the U.S. border with Mexico. Conditions at detention facilities may be driving American's growing support for allowing Central American refugees into the country. File Photo courtesy of Rep. Doris Matsui's Office

Aug. 13 (UPI) — Support for refugees appears to be growing in the United States with 57 percent of Americans approving of allowing refugees from Central America into the country, a new Gallup survey shows.

That’s up from 51 percent in December when a dispute over President Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the Mexico border led to a partial government shutdown. Support for the Central American refugees is higher than any other group of refugees, including Syrians in 2015, all the way back to Jews during the German Holocaust in the 1930s and 1940s, Gallup reported.

“The number of migrants coming to the border is much higher than was the case when Gallup last polled this question in December,” Gallup said. “Detention facilities have become overcrowded, sparking criticisms of the administration’s handling of the situation.”

Republican support for refugees jumped from 14 percent to 24 percent. Democrats remain the most supportive with 85 percent approving, up 3 percent from December.

“Across party lines, significant majorities agree that the situation at the border is a ‘crisis’ or ‘major problem,’ suggesting that Americans desire some government action on the matter,” Gallup said. “But many of Trump’s policies and proposals on immigration have been unpopular — and particularly so among Democrats.”

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a new rule that allows immigration officials to deny green cards to immigrants who rely on food stamps, housing vouchers, Medicaid and other welfare.

The American Heart Association opposes the rule, saying it allows the government to discriminate against individuals based on their health status.


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