Local Politics

Poll: More in US favor Trump's travel ban than oppose it

Posted February 1, 2017 6:10 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2017 7:33 a.m. EST

— About one-third of Americans feel President Donald Trump's executive order to temporarily freeze immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries will make America safer, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The poll, which was conducted Monday and Tuesday, also found that 49 percent of Americans agree with the travel ban, which also blocks all refugees from entering the U.S. for four months, while 41 percent disagree with it.

Wake County resident Lisa Mahoney said Wednesday that she backs Trump's actions, even though massive protests across the country in recent days have called it racist and xenophobic.

"I think that they misunderstand us and they think that we're hateful, that we just hate people. That's not the case," Mahoney said. "I feel for refugees. I don't want to see people suffer, but we have to take care of our country first.

"One of (Trump's) promises was to protect our country, to make it safer, and in doing so, we need a better vetting process, and that takes time," she said.

Harry O'Neal, the son of an Air Force veteran, said he worries about his family and his country, and he's not surprised more people support the travel ban than oppose it.

"The other countries said that they were going to send in ISIS to infiltrate the people coming in (as refugees or U.S. immigrants)," O'Neal said. "There's no way you can prevent them coming in if you don't have some type of border security."

Still, Sheri Henry said she struggles over whether the president's hard-line immigration stance is the right one.

"I voted for him, and I think we can only go forward, but I think it's interesting as far as the immigrant situation because we're for, America's for everybody," Henry said.

Jeff Sullivan said he sees the protests but argues that those waving signs aren't giving Trump a chance.

"This is just a temporary thing he's putting in place to make sure the people are vetted and secure enough to enter the country without causing harm to American citizens," Sullivan said.

Opponents of the travel ban note that the U.S. already has a vetting process for refugees that includes several background checks, interviews and fingerprinting and can take up to two years to complete.