Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Asylum Reform to Protect Refugees
By Eleanor Acer
Immigration reform is one of the most debated issues in today’s political climate. And as the 2016 election cycle kicks into gear, politicians on both sides of the aisle seem unlikely to find a lot of common ground on this hot-button issue, as least in the short term.
But according to poll results we just released, there’s broad bipartisan support among Americans for reforming the refugee and asylum systems to better protect those seeking refuge from persecution.
With the help of Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, we polled voters in twenty-five of the most competitive congressional districts, as well as voters in South Carolina and New Hampshire. The result: voters across nearly every major demographic, including party and ideological lines, believe the asylum and refugee system needs to be improved and strengthened to better protect refugees.
Candidates looking to broaden their appeal should study this poll; it found that voters are more likely to vote for candidates who support reform. Independent women—a key target demographic in any congressional campaign in 2016—are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who advocates improving and strengthening the asylum system to protect refugees by a 50 percent to nine percent margin.
Voters support not only the idea of reform but also specific proposals. For example, 78 percent of those who responded in targeted districts agree that Congress should increase the number of immigration judges who serve on immigration courts to help ensure fair and timely hearings for those who are fleeing persecution. And 62 percent said that rather than holding asylum seekers in jails and detention facilities, the United States should increase the use of alternatives to detention.
More on today’s polling results are available here.