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Voters Reject Obama’s New Middle East Refugee Plan

Voters strongly oppose President Obama’s plan to bring 110,000 Middle Eastern and African refugees to this country next year, up from 85,000 this year, and view that decision as an increased danger to U.S. national security.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that nearly half (48%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe the United Should should take in no additional refugees from those areas. Just 12% agree with Obama’s 110,000 figure, but another six percent (6%) think even more refugees than that should be brought here.

Fourteen percent (14%) think 25,000 would be all right, while six percent (6%) favor letting in 50,000 of these refugees. Six percent (6%) support 85,000 newcomers from the Middle East and Africa. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sixty-two percent (62%) of voters believe increasing the number of Middle Eastern and African refugees next year poses an increased national security risk to the United States. Twenty-eight percent (28%) disagree.

Voters were similarly opposed and concerned about the national security threat of bringing Syrian refugees here this year, but Obama did it anyway, citing humanitarian concerns and the pressures these immigrants were putting on our European allies. The administration even sped the vetting process for these refugees in order to hit the president’s goal of bringing at least 10,000 here in 2016.

The new survey was taken following the terrorist bombing this past weekend in New York City. A Muslim American originally from Afghanistan is the leading suspect. A Somali Muslim was shot to death Sunday after he stabbed eight shoppers at a Minnesota mall.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 18-19, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Even before the incidents this weekend, Americans were skeptical of the government’s ability to prevent future domestic terror attacks. Voters think Donald Trump would do a better job than Hillary Clinton protecting the country from terrorists.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major political party believe these additional refugees pose an increased national security threat to the country. Just 36% of Democrats agree.

That helps explain why 74% of GOP voters and a plurality (49%) of unaffiliateds don’t want any more of these refugees coming here. Only 25% of Democrats share that view. Thirty percent (30%) of voters in Obama’s party want to bring 110,000 or more of those refugees here.

Women and those under 40 are more supportive of increasing refugee totals than men and older voters are. Most men and voters 40 and over think no additional refugees should be allowed to come here.

Blacks are far less concerned than whites and other minority voters about the potential national security threat these additional refugees pose.

Among voters who want no additional refugees to come here, 96% think they represent an increased national security threat. Among voters who agree with Obama’s plan for 110,000 or even more refugees next year, more than 80% see no additional national security risk.

Voters strongly support Trump’s plan for temporarily restricting immigration from countries with a history of terrorism and for testing to screen out newcomers who don’t share America’s values.

Following the shooting massacre in June at an Orlando gay nightclub by a man pledging allegiance to the radical Islamic State group (ISIS), 52% said the federal government does not focus enough on the threat of domestic Islamic terrorism.

Clinton and the president won't say it for fear of offending Muslims, but most voters continue to believe the United States is at war with radical Islamic terrorism.

Most voters think U.S. foreign policy should focus on what's best for America but believe Obama is more interested in what's best for the world.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 18-19, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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