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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Attitudes Toward Refugees

Historically, Americans have been skeptical about accepting refugees.  Below, Gallup supplies data going back to the 1930s.

Americans did welcome the Vietnamese boat people  One exception was California Governor Jerry Brown, as Kerry Picket reported last year:
In 1975, Jerry Brown complained, that the federal government wanted to “dump Vietnamese on” California. “We can’t be looking 5,000 miles away and at the same time neglecting people who live here,” Newsweek reported at the time. According to The Washington Post, Larry Engelmann’s Tears Before the Rain: An Oral History of the Fall of South Vietnam, writes that Julia Vadala Taft, who led the interagency task force for refugee resettlement, remembered Brown’s opposition.
“The new governor of California, Jerry Brown, was very concerned about refugees settling in his state. Brown even attempted to prevent planes carrying refugees from landing at Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento. . . . The secretary of health and welfare, Mario Obledo, felt that this addition of a large minority group would be unwelcome in California. And he said that they already had a large population of Hispanics, Filipinos, blacks, and other minorities.”