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Most Americans Oppose Accepting Syrian Refugees, Poll Reveals

Most Americans Oppose Accepting Syrian Refugees, Poll Reveals

A Syrian refugee kisses the hand of his son held by a Greek life guard after their overcrowded raft landed at a rocky beach in the Greek island of Lesbos, November 19, 2015. Balkan countries have begun filtering the flow of migrants to Europe, granting passage to those fleeing conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan but turning back others from Africa and Asia, the United Nations and Reuters witnesses said on Thursday. | (Photo: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis)
Syrian immigrants walk on a railway track after they crossed the Hungarian-Serbian border near Roszke, Hungary, August 25, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)
Syrian refugees raise their arms in front of the railways station in Budapest, Hungary, September 2, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)
An exhausted Syrian refugee drinks water after arriving by a raft on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 19, 2015. Balkan countries have begun filtering the flow of migrants to Europe, granting passage to those fleeing conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan but turning back others from Africa and Asia, the United Nations and Reuters witnesses said on Thursday. | (Photo: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis)
A Syrian refugee carries a young girl moments after arriving on a dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 10, 2015. Most of the people flooding into Europe are refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries who have a legal right to seek asylum, the United Nations said on Tuesday. | (Photo: Reuters/Dimitris Michalakis)
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According to polling, a majority of Americans oppose the resettlement of Syrian refugees within the United States.

A Bloomberg poll released Wednesday says that 53 percent of Americans oppose taking in more Syrian refugees. The poll, conducted Nov. 15 – 17, and after the Paris terrorist attack, has a margin of error of 3.9 percent.

Additionally, only 28 percent of respondents favored proceeding with the current plan to resettle refugees "without religious screening." Eleven percent said they favor refugees only if they are Christians.

President Barack Obama has said on multiple occasions that there will be no religious test for refugees, calling such a proposal "shameful" and "un-American."

According to CNS News, a division of the conservative-leaning Media Research Center, only 2.4 percent of the refugees are Christian while 96 percent are Muslim. There have been frequent reports that Christians sometimes avoid refugee camps because they are singled out for mistreatment and abuse by other refugees, many whom are Muslim.

In October, FBI Director Comey told Capitol Hill lawmakers during congressional testimony that accepting refugees was not without risk.

An audience member holds up an anti-refugee sign during a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Worcester, Massachusetts, November 18, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)

"I can't sit here and offer anybody an absolute assurance that there's no risk associated with this," Comey said.

The head of the FBI also admitted that while the vetting process has improved in recent years, refugees from Syria pose greater risks that Iraq because of lack of on the ground intelligence.

The Washington D.C. based Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank, argued Wednesday that Syrian refugees poses an "insignificant" risk.

"Halting America's processing of refugees due to a terrorist attack in another country that may have had one asylum-seeker as a co-plotter would be an extremely expensive overreaction to very minor threat," declared Alex Nowrasteh.

"Resettling refugees who pass a thorough security check would likely decrease the recruiting pool for future terrorists and decrease the long run risk," he added.

The U.S. has accepted 21,000 Syrian refugees, but future plans are now in jeopardy as a majority of governors have asked for a halt to the program. Forty-seven Democrats joined 242 Republicans in Congress Thursday to block additional refugees from entering the U.S. until more vetting stipulations are added.

Obama has said if the legislation passes the Senate, he will veto the bill.

Congressman Walter Jones, R-N.C., voted against the legislation, calling it a "show vote."

"Today, I voted against the House's show vote on refugee crisis," declared Jones.

"Defunding President Obama's refugee program is the only way to ensure there is an actual halt in the refugee influx until we can determine without question that we are not giving terrorists a free pass into the United States.

"The SAFE Act does nothing to cut off the funding for President Barack Obama's plan and would allow the Obama administration to continue to decide how many refugees to let in, and who," he added.

Rev. Harry Reeder, pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, (PCA) authored a post Thursday titled, "A Refuge and Refugees – A Pastoral Perspective on the Current Refugee Crisis."

Reeder addressed steps that should be taken by the Church and the government to help alleviate the suffering of those who have been displaced, while also mindful of national security concerns.

"Historically moments like this have become extraordinary opportunities for God's people to ignite a winsome testimony for Christ and embrace the Great Commandment that more often than not opens wide the doors for fulfilling the Great Commission," Reeder asserted. But more than anything, it is the right thing to do for those who are beneficiaries of God's grace."

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