According to Donald Trump, Americans do not want the country to admit Central American refugees into the United States. The president had even gone so far as to builed his midterm election strategy on demonizing migrants seeking asylum at the border.
It turns out, however, that a majority of Americans support admitting asylum seekers who are desperately fleeing their dangerous homelands. A new poll from Gallup shows that 51% of citizens approve in allowing asylum to the migrants. The number of people who oppose admitting the Central Americans stands at 43%.
This level of support for refugees is unusual in recent American history. Since 1939, Gallup has taken 8 different surveys on admitting refugees from places such as Germany, Vietnam, and Hungary. This is only the second time a majority of Americans have approved of taking migrants in. The first time concerned people fleeing Kosovo in 1999, with 66% of Americans approving.
The support is also wildly drawn upon political lines. Republicans only support the Central Americans at a 14% rate, while Democrats support the migrants at an 82% rate. Independents stand close to the national average at 52%.
The political divisions are easy to trace. In November, Donald Trump has used charged language against the Central Americans and said that Middle Easterners and criminals were in their group.
In late October, the president tweeted, “Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!”
Democratic and Independent leaning voters were likely swayed by the story of Jakelin Caal Maquin the 7-year-old girl died of dehydration after reportedly being denied water by border patrol agents. Democratic lawmakers have demanded an investigation into the young girl’s death and place blame at the hands of Republicans.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.