President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on individuals from seven Muslim countries has drawn a lot of controversy and criticism. But a new Reuters/Ipsos poll suggests that more Americans are in favor of the ban than against it, believing the moratorium could keep the U.S. safe from the threat of terrorism.
A report from Reuters detailed the primary takeaways from the poll, which was conducted from January 30-31 and was released on Tuesday. All in all, close to half (49 percent) of respondents are in favor of the Executive Order temporarily blocking refugees and people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. 41 percent of those who took part in the survey expressed that they are against the order, with the remaining 10 percent or so unsure whether they agree or disagree.
As for the other two questions, approximately one-third of respondents (31 percent) said they feel more safe as a result of Donald Trump’s immigration ban, while 26 percent said they feel less safe. 33 percent were neutral, stating that they don’t believe it makes any difference, while 10 percent said they weren’t sure what to answer. Interestingly, 41 percent of all respondents said they believe the travel ban sets a bad example of how terrorism should be dealt with, as to 38 percent who said it’s a good example and 22 percent who weren’t sure.
A graphical representation of how the respondents answered the Reuters/Ipsos poll also shows Republicans being far more likely to approve of the travel ban and have no issues with its potential repercussions than Democrats are.
A report from CNN documented earlier this week what Donald Trump’s immigration ban entails, and how people have reacted to it since the Executive Order was signed on Friday. The process of “extreme vetting,” as Trump put it during his campaign, has Muslim immigrants mainly covered, with refugees, as well as residents of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan prohibited from entering America for 120 days. CNN notes that Americans have mostly been caught unaware by the signing of the travel ban, while many world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, have reacted negatively toward it.
Even some GOP senators have been critical of Donald Trump and his immigration ban. Reuters and CNN quoted Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham as both saying the moratorium would be counterproductive, as it may only allow the Islamic State and other militant groups to recruit more terrorists.
“This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country,” said McCain and Graham in a jointly prepared statement.
In reference to Trump’s “extreme vetting,” another GOP lawmaker, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, said that the program “wasn’t properly vetted.”
Despite criticism and allegations of the travel ban singling out Muslims, Trump has defended the move, insisting that he wasn’t thinking of religion when he signed the Executive Order on Friday.
“This is not about religion. This is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
Reuters was able to get quotes from some survey respondents who offered their own takes on Donald Trump’s immigration moratorium and what it means for the country. A Virginia woman named Cheryl Hoffman told the news agency that she is personally “thrilled” with the president’s move, saying that she isn’t happy with the prospect of refugees entering the U.S. and America’s tax dollars supporting them. Meanwhile, Ohio woman Veronica Buetel argued that there are “other, better ways to root out terrorism” than temporarily banning Muslim immigrants.
Commenting on how the trends show a lot of Americans favoring the travel ban, Westy Egmont, director of Boston College’s Immigrant Integration Lab, explained that the prevalence of refugees and immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries has pushed the buttons of Americans who might not be comfortable having such diversity in their communities.
“The rise of those numbers, as relatively small as they are, have gathered just enough attention to set off a small reaction from people who are genuinely uncomfortable with the diversity around them.”
Still, Reuters pointed out that based on its survey, most Americans aren’t exactly in favor of a situation where Christian, not Muslim immigrants and refugees are welcomed with open arms. About 56 percent of respondents disagreed with this suggested outcome of Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]