Do Americans support admitting refugees into the country from Ukraine? Here’s what the poll says
More Americans support allowing refugees in from Ukraine than any other situation since Gallup began polling in 1939.
A record 78% of Americans support allowing up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine into the U.S., according to a Gallup poll.
It’s the highest percent support for allowing refugees into the U.S. since Gallup began polling on refugee situations in 1939, and the second-highest specific number of refugees Gallup has ever asked about.
The poll found a majority of every gender, age group, education level and political ideology supports allowing Ukrainian refugees in, including 61% of Republicans, 79% of independents and 92% of Democrats.
The previous record high was 1999, when 66% of Americans supported allowing several hundred ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo into the U.S.
The only other situation that received majority support of the nine that Gallup has polled on was in 2018, when 51% supported allowing several thousand people in from Honduras and other Central American countries into the U.S.
Historically, Americans haven’t been very supportive of allowing refugees into their country, Gallup’s data shows. In 1946, the year after World War II ended, just 16% supported allowing more Jewish and other European refugees than allowed by law into the U.S.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency more than 12.7 million people have been displaced in Ukraine since Russia invaded on Feb. 23. The figure includes more than 5 million refugees estimated to have left Ukraine for neighboring countries and more than 7 million estimated to be internally displaced.
In addition, nearly 13 million people are believe to be stranded or in areas they can’t leave because of security risks, according to the agency.
“The human impact and the suffering already caused by this war are staggering,” UN Refugee Agency spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said at a press briefing Tuesday. “Families have been torn apart, houses and infrastructure have been destroyed, while the trauma of war will have a lasting impact on many of those forced to flee their homes, including women and children who represent some 90 per cent of those forced to flee.”
Tens of thousands of refugees from Ukraine have already arrived in the U.S., President Joe Biden said last week.
Biden announced a plan to expedite pathways for legal migration for Ukrainians with family or non-governmental organizations as U.S. sponsors. He said the new “Unite for Ukraine” program would complete immigrant visas and refugee processing.
“This program will be fast. It will be streamlined,” Biden said. “It will ensure the United States honors its commitment to go to the Ukrainian people and need not go through our southern border.”
A Deseret News/Hinckley Institute survey found 87% of Utah voters believe their state should accept Ukrainian refugees. The poll, conducted with Dan Jones & Associates between April 5-12, included 804 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3.46 percentage points.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Utah could expect “as many (refugees) as we can get” when asked by Deseret News reporter Katie McKellar at his monthly press conference.
“Obviously there are some limits to what we can do, but the people of Utah have shown over and over again how much they care about refugees wherever they come from whether it be from Afghanistan or Ukraine,” Cox said. “If we can bring some light into the world, we should do that.”
Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Ukrainian refugee Valentina Chukhno’s name was misspelled in the photo caption.