The evacuation from Afghanistan is not just an evacuation of Americans. Thousands of Afghans who worked with the U.S. military or who fear violence from the Taliban are seeking special immigrant visas or asylum in the United States. But opinions about whether the U.S. ought to offer refuge to Afghans who are seeking it are intertwined with long-term feelings about immigration in general.
Overall, nearly two-thirds of the public (63%) would welcome Afghans who helped the U.S. during the war, according to the latest Economist/YouGov poll. While Democrats are most supportive (74% in favor), a majority of Republicans (59%) would be, as well.
Among Americans asked more generally about accommodating Afghans fleeing violence, support for offering asylum drops to 45%, but supporters still outnumber those opposed by two to one.
Attitudes to immigration are closely tied to people’s willingness to accept Afghan refugees. One in three Americans believe immigration in the past has made the country worse (32%), including 57% of Republicans and 11% of Democrats. Those who hold this view are less willing to admit both Afghans fleeing violence in Afghanistan and those who helped the U.S. during the war.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between August 21 - 24, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 2.7% for the overall sample.