“The broad bipartisan support for resettling Afghan allies is part of a broader public opinion trend in favor of immigrants and immigration, which grew stronger during the past four years,” immigrant rights advocacy group America’s Voice said on Monday in response to the polling.
The organization noted Gallup polling from last July that showed near-record high support among Americans who believe more immigration is good. Recent Data for Progress polling also shows overwhelming support for a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants, temporary status holders, and essential workers. “A deep and broad majority of Americans support resettling our Afghan allies, see immigration as a good thing, and want Congress to formally recognize undocumented immigrants as the Americans they already are,” said America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry.
“Meanwhile, the ultranationalist right in America is working overtime to scare the American people into opposition on all three fronts,” Sharry continued. “It isn’t working.” Like I noted last week, an NBC News report sought to portray political divisions over welcoming Afghans by quoting former White House aide and noted white supremacist Stephen Miller, as well as citing anti-immigrant propagandist Laura Ingraham.
“Trumpian wing of the GOP is loud but not large,” Sharry continued. “Their political efficacy is wildly overrated. They supported Trump’s nationalization of the 2018 midterms on hyped fears of ‘caravans and criminals’ and suffered the largest midterm defeat in American history. They thought Trump was brilliant to run on xenophobia in 2020, only to see him lose to the pro-immigrant candidate by 7 million votes. During Trump’s war on immigrants and refugees, Republicans lost the House, the Senate, and the White House.”
Other recent polling also showed that “most voters, 55%, also want Biden to speed up the visa-granting process for Afghan allies who helped the U.S. forces during two decades of operations there,” Daily Kos’ Kerry Eleveld wrote last week. “Those who support a streamlined visa process include majorities of Democrats (62%) and independents (56%), along with a 45% plurality of Republicans.” The new polling comes as leading refugee advocates say that the Biden administration has made great strides in the number of evacuations from Afghanistan.
“This is what progress looks like,” Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service President Krish O'Mara Vignarajah tweeted in response to updated numbers reported by CBS News. “There are still challenges at the airport, but the increasing pace of evacuation is very encouraging. It’s a testament to what we can achieve with the full might of the US military working hand-in-glove with dedicated career diplomats.”
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