A majority of Americans oppose the resettlement of more than 50,000 Afghans in the United States, according to a survey by Rasmussen Reports.
The August 18-19 survey of 1,000 likely voters was taken as President Joe Biden appears to be expanding the number of migrants he is flying to the United States, far above the initial predictions of 22,000 Afghans — plus family members — who worked alongside the U.S. soldiers who were supporting Afghanistan’s government.
“Enormous numbers of [Afghan] people are trying to jam themselves into that [airlift] funnel right now,” said Ken Cuccinelli, who served as the deputy chief of homeland security for President Donald Trump. Even if President Joe Biden does not want to raise the inflow, Cuccinelli added, “there are plenty of people in this country, of both parties, who would be more than happy to use this excuse to just grab another 50,000 or 100,000 immigrants through this unusual pipeline at this deadly moment.”
Biden’s liberal base strongly supports massive resettlement, regardless of the damage to Americans’ wages, rents, and civic society. Thirty-five percent of liberals want Biden to deliver more than 100,000 Afghans, and another 20 percent want between 50,000 and 100,000.
The airlift numbers suggest that “this is going to be basically a mass importation of Afghans, most of whom do not actually qualify” for U.S. visas, said Rob Law, the director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.
“It is absolutely reckless with a profound disregard for what the [immigration] laws actually are … [because] they are substituting their own moral judgment for the laws that have been passed by Congress and signed into law by former presidents,” said Law, who worked at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency for Trump.
The Rasmussen poll shows that Republicans and independents want small-scale settlements. For example. 68 percent of Republicans want the resettlement of fewer than 50,000 Afghans, and only 16 percent want more than 50,000.
The response from black Americans matched the views of GOP supporters: 39 percent of black respondents supported just 10,000 migrants, and only 21 percent supported the resettlement of more than 50,000 Afghans. The matching numbers for Republican respondents were 39 percent and 16 percent.
Similarly, 51 percent of independents want fewer than 50,000 Afghans. Only 22 percent favor more than 50,000.
A large share of Americans contacted by Rasmussen declared they were “not sure” about the numbers. Overall, 23 percent of regulated voters and 28 percent of independents said they were “not sure.”
The “not sure” score is very high for a survey, but it likely reflects Americans’ longstanding ambivalence about migration. Multiple polls show that Americans want to be seen liking immigration and immigrants — but also lopsided majorities of Americans oppose the inflow of migrants to fill jobs needed by Americans.
The poll helps to explain conflicting U.S. attitudes towards the airlift.
Strong majorities of Americans favor the extraction of “military translators” and others who worked alongside U.S. soldiers. For example, 81 percent of Americans agreed that the U.S. government should help “military translators” get out, according to a CBS News/YouGov survey of 2,142 U.S. adults interviewed between August 18-20, 2021.
Similarly, the Rasmussen poll showed that 50 percent of Americans believe that it is “very important” that the U.S. government help “Afghanistan refugees who want to escape the Taliban” — even as 52 percent also want fewer than 50,000 migrants.
The public’s ambivalence is an opportunity for progressives and their business backers to extract more migrants to serve as workers, consumers, and renters into the U.S. economy, observers noted.
“There’s an opportunistic element to this,” said Cuccinelli:
That cadre of folks in both parties — although it’s become a bit of a religion on the left whereas on the right, it’s more corporate cronyism — they will seize the opportunity and they’ll, if nothing else, err on the high side.
For ordinary Americans, that has both costs in our tax dollars and in lower wages and less economic opportunity for our poor people. But for all of us that national security level it also has the potential for negative security consequences. This is an easy opportunity to sneak militant Islamic jihadists into this country — it’s a no-brainer for them. All you have to do is be the needle in the haystack — the bigger the haystack, the more of those needles you can hide … We set up whatever we’re going to do, and they’ll game it.
Biden’s pro-migration deputies will likely bring roughly 1.5 million legal immigrants and illegal migrants — plus many guest workers — into Americans’ economy and society in 2021 via a wide variety of large and small doorways. The huge migration is adding one migrant for every three Americans born during the year.
So far, Biden has zig-zagged on the airlift numbers, partly because any signal of welcome for economic migrants from Afghanistan would further clog the municipal airport now being used for the airlift. On Friday, Biden said:
The fact is that more and more of the groups we urgently want to get out of Afghanistan, starting with American citizens and the folks who worked in the embassies, and personnel with our allies, as well as the Afghans who help them and worked in those embassies, as well as those who helped them on the battlefield as well. We are working diligently to make sure we’ve increased the ability to get them out.
“The estimate we’re giving is somewhere between 50,000 and 65,000 folks total, counting their families,” he told ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos on August 19.
But his progressive allies want to bring in more Afghans, regardless of Americans’ preferences.
“We should bring as many as possible here,” said New York Times op-ed writer Michelle Goldberg. She continued:
Canada, which is about one-ninth the size of the United States, has announced its intention to take more than 20,000 fleeing Afghans. There is no way to justify America accepting fewer on a per capita basis; 180,000 should be the absolute floor.
This is likely to be unpopular; polls showed a majority of Americans opposed the comparatively tiny Syrian refugee resettlement program. But there is no moral argument against vastly expanded refugee admissions.
“They need to ensure safe passage not just for the people at the airport, not just for interpreters who worked for the U.S. military, but for anyone who wants to leave,” said Heather Barr, the associate director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch.
“If ever there were a situation where the refugee system should be expanded rapidly to account for larger numbers of people facing death, this is it,” said an August 16 report by the Cato Institute, which opposes most curbs on the inflow of foreign workers into Americans’ national labor market. The report said:
It would not be out of the realm of possibility for 2–5 percent of the population to flee in the next year or two, or about 800,000 to 2 million. Most will go to neighboring countries with large Afghan resident populations, such as Iran or Pakistan, but many will also try to go to Europe.
“Letting in Afghan refugees poses no danger to the livelihoods of Americans … the people who want to abandon America’s allies to take their chances under the Taliban have no economic arguments on their side,” said Noah Smith, a pro-migration writer at Bloomberg.com who rejects the massive and growing evidence that migration moves money from ordinary Americans’ wages over to the stocks owned by coastal investors and to the rental checks paid by new migrants.
Establishment Republicans — including many governors — are also supporting a large-scale airlift, usually without separating economic migrants from the smaller number of Afghans who fought alongside U.S. troops.
“There are 32 million Afghans, we’re talking about 60[ooo] to 80,000 people,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) told Fox News Sunday. He continued:
So the first thing to say is, the American people need to understand who we’re talking about. We’re talking about heroes, who fought with us to take the fight to al Qaeda and the Taliban … When you fought on behalf of Americans to protect our people, you’re welcome in my neighborhood.
The long-standing federal policy of extraction migration pulls many workers, consumers, and renters from poor countries for use in the U.S. economy. The economic policy inflates the labor supply and boosts consumer spending, so aiding companies and investors.
The migration is deeply unpopular because it damages ordinary Americans’ career opportunities, cuts their wages, raises their rents, curbs their productivity, shrinks their political clout, widens regional wealth gaps, and wrecks their democratic, equality-promoting civic culture.
For many years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates. This opposition is multiracial, cross-sex, non-racist, class-based, bipartisan, rational, persistent, and recognizes the solidarity Americans owe to each other.