New poll: 41 % of Americans support refugee settlement

New poll: 41 % of Americans support refugee settlement
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New poll: 41 % of Americans support refugee settlement

New poll by Arab American Institute shows plurality of Americans stand with refugees and the undocumented, contrasting policies outlined by President Trump.

Also … Muslim, Arab and Civil rights groups decry Trump immigration plans  

A plurality of Americans support refugee resettlement and undocumented immigrants, contrary to policy positions laid out by President Donald Trump. That’s the key finding of an Arab American Institute commissioned poll of American attitudes on issues that deeply affect our community and our allies. Americans also oppose a so-called “Muslim ban” and do not believe in the false choice of compromising fundamental rights for national security. 

As advocacy groups work to stand-up for long-held American ideals of inclusion, these results show their efforts are in the mainstream. And although there is a continuing partisan divide on policies from pathways to legal status, to government surveillance, to immigration bans –the results shine light on where we need to focus our education and outreach.

“Americans stand with immigrants, Muslims and refugees and it’s showing up in the responses to this poll. Our citizens do not want to see a scaling back of our freedoms or a closing of the door to those who look to us for hope. It is true there is a partisan divide but it’s a bridgeable one. We must now work, harder than ever, to empower our society’s most vulnerable communities and that is what we will do,” said AAI President James Zogby. 

Key Findings

41% of Americans, including 52% of Democrats and 44% of Independents, believe we should proceed with the plan to resettle Syrian refugees.

59% of Democrats and a plurality of Republicans and Independents believe that undocumented immigrants, with no criminal record currently living and working in the United States should have a path to legal status.

Syrian refugees in the Gaza Strip protest against the Syrian government and call for change. Copyright Mohammed Asad 2016. All Rights Reserved

Over half (52%) of Americans oppose a ban on immigrants and travelers who are Muslim. 

A majority (51%) of Americans do not believe compromising or limiting the rights of American citizens is necessary for national security.

Three out of five Americans reported they were somewhat or very concerned about the surveillance and collection of their personal data, including social media, by the U.S. government.

Full results available here.


Zogby Analytics was commissioned by James Zogby to conduct an online survey of 1005 adults in the US. Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey.  Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time. Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1005 is +/- 3.1 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.  AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities. For more information please visit

In other news:

ADC issues statement challenging Trump immigration order

Earlier this afternoon President Donald Trump signed Executive Order (EO) Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which essentially implements an Arab and Muslim ban. The EO also puts an immediate ban on refugees entering the United States. 

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has already received reports that green card holders and other visa holders have been denied boarding and admission into the United States at the airport. The EO bans nationals and U.S. legal permanent residents (LPR’s – green card holders) from seven countries from entering the United States. The seven countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Additional countries can be added to the list in the future. Specifically, the ban prevents green card and visa holders from those countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days possibly more. 

ADC has developed a toolkit with information about the ban, and the impact on community members. The kit also includes actions you can take. Click here to view the toolkit

ADC is advising nationals in the U.S. who are from the above referenced countries to not travel abroad. You will not be allowed to re-enter the country. ADC will be hosting a Live Discussion on the EO and its ramifications on Monday, January 30 at 2:00 P.M. EST via Facebook Live.

ADC’s team of lawyers is reviewing the language of the orders to get a complete and better understanding of the EO in its entirety. We are working on a number of community town halls and forums across the country discussing the orders and there implications on visa holders and refugees. We are also providing regular updates on our official Facebook Page and Twitter feed – be sure to follow both to stay up to date. 

For green card holders (LPRs) and student visa holders denied entry at the border or airport, contact ADC immediately at 202-244-2990, via email at, via Twitter @adctweets, and through Facebook Messanger

ADC has been diligently working on this matter and doing our best to keep the community informed regarding the possible implications of the EO. The EO demonstrates the Trump Administrations clear agenda to criminalize all immigrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, and persons of Arab ancestry and/or of the Islamic faith. The Trump Administration is manipulating current immigration mechanisms to authorize mass blanket discrimination against entire populations based on national origin, religion and/or ethnicity.

USCMO Apprehensive of Muslim Ban by President Trump

The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of several leading national and local Muslim organizations and institutions, expressed concern over President Trump’s executive order to ban Muslim visitors, immigrants, and refugees from entering the United States.

The draft order calls for an immediate halt to resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States until further notice, and a 30 day halt on all issued immigrant and visitor visas from Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Iran, Libya and Sudan. It does not take into consideration the status of the individual or whether or not they have US relatives, effectively dividing families, especially those who are seeking entry under refugee status.

In a statement earlier today, USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal said: “What this executive order amounts to is a “Muslim ban” on nationals who are trying to escape the same extremism and violence that Mr. Trump is claiming to protect the country from, particularly Syrian refugees who view their visas as a ticket to safety. These refugees in particular have gone through a very rigorous vetting process that can range from months to years- taking away their light at the end of the tunnel is not only inhumane, it’s unAmerican.”

USCMO calls on elected officials to reject the anti-Muslim rhetoric touted by the Trump administration in the name of national security. USCMO also calls on all Americans to reject efforts to divide our great nation through labels and fear mongering.

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns White House Action Against People of Faith and Refugees

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after President Trump signed an executive action discriminating against Muslims and banning refugees:

“President Trump rode a wave of bigotry into the White House and ushered in a new era of hostility against American Muslims. He campaigned as a demagogue and is now governing as a demagogue. 

Banning or profiling people of faith is ineffective for our national security; it fans flames of bigotry and makes us all less safe. 

Trump’s recent actions to build a wall around the country, to strike fear in the heart of immigrants, and now toward banning refugees and religious minorities make his America look more like a police state than the republic we truly are.

Our republic is stronger and more dynamic because of its refugees, immigrants, and religious diversity. But this administration is governing out of baseless fear and our nation’s immigrants and people of faith are paying a dear price.  

The administration should immediately cancel these actions, stop the bullying, and govern in a way that’s inclusive and actually makes us all safer.”

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit 

Anti-Defamation League joins American Muslim groups in denouncing Trump immigration policy

ADL Strongly Condemns President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration and Refugees

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today unambiguously condemned President Trump’s planned Executive Order on immigration and refugee entry into the United States. The draft order, if signed as written, would direct the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to “cease refugee processing of and the admittance of nationals of Syria as refugees,” to cap the annual number of refugees at 50,000, and to halt all travel from certain Muslim countries. The proposed order will effectively bar entry for Syrians stuck in the crossfire of its civil war, will leave vulnerable members of the LGBT community around the world persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and many others.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

History will look back on this order as a sad moment in American History – the time when the president turned his back on people fleeing for their lives. This will effectively shut America’s doors to the most vulnerable people in the world who seek refuge from unspeakable pain and suffering.

For the Sunni family whose son languishes in prison in Iran because of his faith, for the former Army translator in Iraq who has been threatened because of his service, LGBT youth in Yemen terrorized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, for the widows and orphans caught between the barrel bombs of Assad’s regime and the unparalleled brutality of ISIS, this executive order could very well be a death sentence.

Yes, we need strict screening but our current system is sufficient in keeping America safe. These refugees are fleeing horrifying terror and unimaginable violence. To shut the door on them not only makes little sense, but it is cruel and contrary to the values of our country – a nation founded by refugees fleeing religious persecution and strengthened by waves of immigrants. More than most, our community knows what happens when the doors to freedom are shut. That is why ADL relentlessly will fight this policy in the weeks and months to come.  Our history and heritage compel us to take a stand.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
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