Majority Welcome Refugees; Local Leaders Continue to Counter Divisive Rhetoric

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a survey released today, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) finds that a majority of Americans support Syrian refugee resettlement here and continue to support commonsense immigration reform.

PRRI found that despite heightened fears, “a majority (53%) of Americans support allowing Syrian refugees to come to the U.S. provided they go through a security clearance process.”

In addition, researchers found that “Support for comprehensive immigration reform also continues to be robust. More than six in ten (63%) say that the immigration system should allow immigrants who are now living in the U.S. illegally a way to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements.”

Meanwhile, conservative faith, law enforcement and business leaders continue to speak out against divisive rhetoric, and say that America is better when we welcome those seeking refuge.

“America is a land of opportunity and its citizens are made up of many races and religions,” said former Kansas Attorney General Robert T. Stephan. “Many have made the supreme sacrifice to hang on to the values of freedom that are open to all.  My grandparents and father came to the United States from Lebanon, and I served as Kansas Attorney General for 16 years. Do not punish the innocent for the actions of evildoers.”

“Any call to alienate a person or group of people based on their religious beliefs violates the most elementary of reasons for which our nation was formed,” said Rev. Tony Suarez, Executive Vice President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). “The proverbial city on the hill should be open to all that desire to come and become one of us.”

“Ours is not a country that turns its back on people who are seeking to escape the ravages of war and who desperately need our help,” said Michael Tupper, Chief of Police in Marshalltown, Iowa. “It is now more important than ever that our country stand upon its principles of compassion and grace. We cannot allow fear to become our guide. If we do, the enemies of freedom have scored a devastating victory that will be difficult to overcome.”

“Donald Trump targeting Muslims and wanting to ban them from immigrating to or visiting the U.S. is unbiblical,” said Rondell Treviño, Southeast Church Mobilizer/Trainer for Bibles, Badges, and Business and the Evangelical Immigration Table. “God calls us to believe and act otherwise by loving our Muslim neighbors as ourselves, as stated in Luke 10:25-37. Therefore, as Christians we have the privilege to love and embrace Muslims in our nation. This is the Gospel.”

“PRRI’s survey shows that most Americans want to reinforce American values despite our fears,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. “When potential refugees pass our rigorous security checks, we must offer them security, safety and freedom in the United States.

“Conservative constituencies across the country agree. We must acknowledge our worries and doubts, but as a country we must move past them and recommit to our American values of compassion and opportunity.

“America is better when we welcome people fleeing violence and persecution and help them build new lives.”




Comments are closed.