American Attitudes on Refugees and the U.S. Travel Ban

Since the election of President Trump, the world has witnessed shifts in U.S. policy towards refugees. In his first few months in office, the president has worked to implement an Executive Order limiting entry into the United States, a so-called “travel ban” that some believe targets refugee of certain religions. In a new survey, Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow and Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland Shibley Telhami outlines American public attitudes towards the pending U.S. travel ban, refugees, and the Muslim religion.

81 percent of Americans believe that all refugees seeking entry into the United States should be treated the same regardless of their religion.

In highlights from the poll, when asked if they support or oppose the United States taking in refugees from the conflicts in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries (after screening them for security risks), the majority of Americans (59 percent) said they support taking in Syrian and Middle Eastern refugees. In addition, a significant majority of Americans (81 percent) believe that all refugees and immigrants seeking entry into the United States should be treated the same regardless of their religion.

The survey was conducted April 12-17, 2017 with a panel consisting of a probability-based representative sample. The panel was recruited by Nielsen Scarborough from its larger probability-based national panel, which was recruited by mail and telephone using a random sample of households provided by Survey Sampling International. A national sample of 2,138 panelists completed the survey. Responses were weighted by age, gender, income, education, race, and geographic region using benchmarks from the U.S. Census. The survey was also weighted by partisan identification. The margin of error is 2.12 percent.


Below are several highlights from the Brookings-University of Maryland opinion poll.
You can read the full survey questions and poll results here.