Americans are sharply divided over President Donald Trump’s order to temporarily block US entry for all refugees and citizens of seven Muslim countries, with slightly more approving the measure than disapproving, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.
The Jan. 30-31 poll found that 49 percent of American adults said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed with Trump’s order, while 41 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” disagreed and another 10 percent said they don’t know.
Reuters reports that the responses were split almost entirely along party lines. About 53 percent of Democrats said they “strongly disagree” with Trump’s action while 51 percent of Republicans said they “strongly agree.”
Trump’s executive order banned refugees from entering the United States for 120 days, and it placed an indefinite hold on Syrian refugees. It also blocked citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The president, who campaigned on a promise to bring what he called “extreme vetting” to the nation’s immigration system, said the order he signed on Friday was meant to protect the country and its borders. “This is not a Muslim ban,” he said.
But confusion over who was covered by Trump’s order left travelers, airlines and foreign governments scrambling to get clarity from US officials, many of whom were also bewildered.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll found 31 percent of Americans feel “more safe” because of the ban, compared with 26 percent who said they felt “less safe.”
About 38 percent said they felt the United States was setting “a good example” of how best to confront terrorism, while 41 percent said the country was setting “a bad example.”
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