NH citizens say “no” to more refugees – 567 citizens, 1318 responses

Sep 13, 2015

The Syrian refugee crisis was a hot topic with presidential candidates who visited New Hampshire in September after an announcement by President Obama that the United States would accept at least 10,000 displaced Syrians over the next fiscal year. In response, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) asked Facebook members, “Should NH welcome more refugees?” 

A total of 85% of respondents answered the question directly or with a concurrence. Out of these responses, an 88% majority said NH should not accept more refugees with 12% in favor. Of the remaining respondents, 13% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 2% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 567 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 1318 responses. 

For those of the majority opinion, some cited concerns for safety related to ISIS, while many others said NH has enough concerns with which to deal without adding any additional burdens. Remarked one respondent, “I am concerned because I know too many people who cannot find jobs, or are under-employed. We need to focus on helping NH residents find jobs before helping refugees find jobs and living accommodations.” Many explicitly stated that “the concept of charity begins at home.” One woman rhetorically noted, “We have so many homeless Americans right now sleeping in the street—how can we take care of others when we cannot even take care of our own?”

Those who think NH should accept refugees, however, cited altruistic concerns. One woman said, “I don't see why I get to lay claim to a state just because I happened to be born here. We need to help others who are suffering.” Several questioned the legitimacy behind the argument that Syrian refugees present a threat, including one gentleman who noted, “We already have more violent homegrown (and overwhelmingly Christian-identity) extremists in the US than we could ever import from Syria.” 

For those who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, some commented on the economics behind accepting refugees, while others argued other countries should also offer assistance. Some discussed United States policy in Syria with one respondent remarking, “We are directly responsible for what is happening over there.”

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Do you think NH should open its doors to more refugees? Why or why not? Leave a comment and weigh in. 

 

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