'Anti-Immigrant' Americans Take In More Refugees Than Rest of the World Combined


If you listen to pundits on the left, Americans are portrayed as deeply hateful if they want the nation’s immigration laws enforced.

The country must take in everybody who turns up at the border, no questions asked, it seems — and if you want a reasonable cap on immigration numbers or some idea of who is entering the country, you’re quickly labeled a bigot for even having concerns.

Reality, however, does not always match the narrative. It turns out the U.S. is actually incredibly inviting and giving when it comes to immigration, and has led the world in accepting refugees for decades.

You read that right: America has opened its doors to more refugees than any other nation in the world in recent history.

“The U.S. has resettled more refugees than any other country – about 3 million since 1980,” reported Pew Research Center in October 2017.

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In fact, the report states: “Between 1982 and 2016, the U.S. admitted more than two-thirds (69%) of the world’s resettled refugees, followed by Canada (14%) and Australia (11%).”

That fact flies in the face of frequently repeated claims about Americans and conservatives being opposed to welcoming foreigners. The U.S. accepted high numbers of refugees through several different presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat.

Pew Research found something else that the left has been hesitant to admit: Contrary to voices that call Republicans racist, there was a 10-year increase in Middle Eastern and African immigrants being granted refuge that began during the conservative Bush era.

“The nationalities of refugees resettled in the U.S. have changed over the past decade and a half, with an increasing number from Middle Eastern and African countries,” Pew reported.

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“In fiscal 2002 – the earliest year for which we have detailed data on U.S. refugee arrivals – 17% of refugees entering the U.S. (nearly 5,000) were from Middle Eastern and African countries,” the report continued.

While liberals inside America and observers in other countries often scold the United States or not “doing something” about refugee crises, it turns out that the U.S. has been doing more than its fair share to take in the world’s outcasts.

“Between fiscal 2002 and 2017, 55% of refugees entering the U.S. came from Burma (Myanmar), Iraq, Somalia or Bhutan,” Pew found. All of those locations have faced serious humanitarian problems.

Since 2002, the numbers of other refugees from troubled areas taken in by the United States include: 169,000 from Burma, 144,000 from Iraq, 104,000 from Somalia, 94,000 from Bhutan and 21,000 from Syria.

Added together, refugees from only those specific countries since 2002 could fill a city with a population larger than Atlanta.

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The takeaway from this study is something that conservatives have been saying for years: America is not anti-immigrant, nor is the political right against helping people from troubled nations who seek a better life in the United States.

Conservatives simply want the legal process followed when someone tries to come to America, and believe that there should be systems in place so that we know who and how many people are crossing the border.

Every nation has a basic right to control its own borders, and that’s true whether we’re talking about Canada, Mexico, or the United States.

The next time that somebody tries to shame Americans, it’s worth remembering that the country actually leads the world when it comes to taking in others.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.