POLITICS

Clear majority of Americans would welcome 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, poll finds

More than three in four Americans favor accepting Ukrainian refugees to the United States, a new Gallup poll shows.

It's the highest level of support – by far – Gallup has recorded among Americans for any refugee group since the start of World War II more than 80 years ago, the independent polling firm found.

Of those surveyed, 78% agreed that they would accept 100,000 people from Ukraine.

The support is bipartisan with 92% of Democrats, 61% of Republicans, and 79% of independents in favor of taking them in as they flee their war-ravaged country.

The data also shows that in previous years, not as many Americans were open to the idea of welcoming in as many refugees. 

In 2018, for example, only 14% of Republicans agreed to accept refugees from Honduras and other Central American countries compared to 52% of independents and 82% of Democrats. In 2015, only 15% of Republicans, 37% independents and 57% Democrats were in favor of accepting Syrian refugees. 

Gallup has conducted polls in a variety of different refugee cases and has data dating back to WWII.

"This is the highest level of U.S. public support for admitting refugees that Gallup has found" since 1939, according to the polling firm.

Alexandra Kusminova left eastern Ukraine with her daughter and granddaughter, fleeing the Russian attacks in Avdiivka. The U.N. refugee agency says more than 5 million refugees have fled Ukraine since Russian troops invaded the country. The agency announced the milestone in Europe's biggest refugee crisis since World War II on April 20, 2022.

The study also says that "no other refugee appeal has been supported by even four in 10 Americans, with support ranging from 16% in 1946 for taking expanded number of European refugees during World War II to 37% in 2015 for admitting 'at least 10,000 Syrian refugees'."

The poll was conducted from April 1st-19th, and surveyed 1,018 adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. 

Under a new program that began this week by the Biden administration, Ukrainians fleeing war can seek refuge in the United States. 

Biden pledged to accept up to 100,000 Ukrainians impacted by Russia's invasion through the Uniting for Ukraine program, where they can apply on the Department of Homeland Security online portal. More than 4 million people have escaped Ukraine since the Russian invasion on Feb.24.

Local civilians gather to get humanitarian aid distributed by Donetsk People Republic Emergency Situations Ministry in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol, Ukraine, Saturday, April 23, 2022.