WASHINGTON—A new poll from Data for Progress, the Refugee Advocacy Lab, and Refugees International shows that U.S. likely voters strongly support the U.S. refugee resettlement program across party lines. But, voters who personally know a refugee support the U.S. refugee program at a much higher rate. While more than two thirds of voters – 71 percent – believe the United States should have a resettlement program, that share jumps to 87 percent if they say they personally know a refugee. This is especially true for Independents and Republicans, whose support for the refugee resettlement program climbs by at least 20 points if they report to know a refugee.
This new poll mirrors findings from initial data collected from the Lab and Data for Progress in October 2022, which also showed a 19-point increase in support when likely voters were asked if they personally knew a refugee, but for the first time shows how this holds true across party lines. When likely voters know someone who is a refugee, 93 percent of Democrats, 89 percent of Independents, and 77 percent of Republicans support the refugee resettlement program.
“When people understand first-hand the experiences of refugees, their support for policies that welcome people seeking refuge increases dramatically,” said Kate Brick, Director of the Refugee Advocacy Lab. “Regardless of party affiliation, there is nothing more powerful than witnessing the ability of the U.S. refugee resettlement program to transform lives and communities. The Biden administration should seize the opportunity to rebuild this program—voters across party lines agree.”
These new findings were released alongside a renewed effort to invite new members into the Refugee Storytellers Collective, a partnered initiative of leaders across the United States who have experienced forced displacement and believe in the power of storytelling to impact social change. The Collective works to ensure that the stories and perspectives of people with lived expertise are front and center in the public discourse on displacement issues.
Members of the Refugee Storytellers Collective are available for media interviews, events, and more.
Learn more about the Collective.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Refugees International’s Vice President for Strategic Outreach and Communications Lead for the Refugee Advocacy Lab Sarah Sheffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Image: The Tanbal family arrives at their new home for the first time on July 24, 2015 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)