New data from Pew: Americans turning more negative on refugee resettlement

My subtitle:

Nearly half of US Catholics believe it is not our responsibility to resettle refugees

Most of the media blames the change in attitude on Trump’s rhetoric, but I think there has been a sea change in media reporting.  There is more and more news available to the general public about the kinds of things I mentioned in my previous post this morning—stories about refugees scamming our welfare programs for example that previously were not published, but are now spread widely by social media!

Erol Kekic with mug
Erol Kekic of Church World Service:  “We have seen an unfortunate rise in xenophobia globally.”

Ten years ago (nearly 11 now) when I first began writing this blog, stories in the media about refugees were in the genre I called ‘Refugees see first snow’ stories!  All were meant to paint refugees in only the most glowing terms.
Now we do see more crime stories like food stamp fraud, Medicaid fraud etc, but also stories about refugee-perpetrated violent crimes and terrorism in the US and around the world.
Here is USA Today on the Pew numbers:

Fewer Americans believe U.S. should accept refugees

Fewer Americans believe the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees, a shift that has been spurred by President Trump’s efforts to limit them from entering the country, according to a poll released Thursday.

More than half of Americans — 51% — still believe the United States should welcome immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, according to the poll conducted by the non-partisan Pew Research Center. But that number is down from 56% during a similar survey in February 2017.

The drop is mostly due to the changing attitudes of Republicans: 26% feel the U.S. has a responsibility to accept refugees, a drop from 35% last year. That trend is even more pronounced among self-described conservative Republicans: their support for refugees has fallen to 19% from 33% last year.


The overall crash in the public perception of refugees coincides with the Trump administration’s efforts to limit the U.S. refugee program in the name of national security.


That constant barrage against refugees helps explain why so many Americans have started viewing refugees with more suspicion, said Erol Kekic, executive director of the immigration and refugee program at Church World Service, one of nine groups*** that helps refugees resettle in the U.S.


A police vehicle leads migrants as they walk towards the Austrian border from Hegyeshalom
Images in the media like this one from Europe naturally scare people—sensible people who know from history that what they are seeing is an invasion. This isn’t about “irrational fear” and xenophobia!

USA Today continues….

Kekic said it wasn’t just Trump. Over the past 16 months, Kekic said Americans have seen the images of refugees fleeing wars and famine pouring into countries around the world. And in many cases, he said that’s led to a sudden, and irrational, fear of those refugees.

“We have seen an unfortunate rise in xenophobia globally,” he said. “We have seen that in European capitals, in Australia, and unfortunately we’ve seen it in the United States.”

Kekic also blamed a more polarized political climate in the U.S., and a poor job by the media of navigating between those two sides.

“We need to change the narrative.” [He means they need to try to get back to the time when all the news was sweet and mushy about refugees.—ed]


But Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said the new poll numbers show Americans are learning that many people who apply for refugee status or asylum are simply taking advantage of generous U.S. laws to sneak into the country.

More here.
Now here is the Pew story on its latest poll. They focused on Republicans as the culprits for the negative drift:

Republicans turn more negative toward refugees as number admitted to U.S. plummets

And, then most of the other stories I see are blaming White Evangelicals, like in this story at The Hill:

Most white, evangelical Protestants say US doesn’t have responsibility to accept refugees: poll

Now here is graph of responses to Pew’s key question:

Pew data
Look at the Catholic numbers!

This is one thing that jumped out at me:
We (and the Bishops, I presume!) assume that most Catholics are on the political Left and ‘welcome’ refugees and according to Pew’s data only 50% do!

Another 45% of surveyed Catholics say we do not have a responsibility to resettle refugees. Wow! That is a lot! 

And, I’ll bet if you saw the raw numbers (and not simply percentages) there were likely more Catholics surveyed than White Evangelicals. (I tried to find the raw numbers but could not!).
Here is another possible headline (but it doesn’t fit the meme—it is Republican white evangelicals that are the bigots!):

Nearly half of US Catholics believe it is not our responsibility to resettle refugees

Pay attention USCCB!
*** These are the nine federal contractors that have a vested interest in changing the narrative by getting the media back to writing all fluffy-puffy refugee stories because they are paid, as contractors, to place refugees for the UN and the US State Department.
The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)!  From most recent accounting, here.
If you are wondering, I post this list every chance I get because we have new readers daily and because I want all of you to know that for reform to be possible these nine fake non-profits have to go.


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