An adviser to Vice President Joe Biden told MSNBC Wednesday he thought most Americans would Syrian refugees into their towns, but a Bloomberg poll out today shows a majority of respondents oppose such measures.
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams asked national security adviser Colin Kahl a question he said went to "proof of conviction."
"I'm going to put a Syrian family in your neighbors' homes, on both sides of you, and I'm going to ask your town where you live to take in 100 families. You have no problem?" Williams asked.
"I have no problem. I think most Americans have no problem," Kahl said. "I think that we've shown throughout our history that crisis brings out the best in us, not the worst in us, and now's not a time to change that."
"How do you best teach Americans, re-teach Americans that this is indeed part of the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty, of all things, of course, a gift from the nation where we're covering having suffered such a terrible terrorist attack?" Williams asked.
"I think we just have to keep reminding them of that," Kahl said. "Our country was built on immigrants. We've welcomed refugees for the entire history of our nation. We've taken three-quarters of a million refugees since 9/11, when this concern has been an issue, and so we just need to push back against the fear and remember who we are."
The national Bloomberg survey revealed, however, that 53 percent of Americans did not want to accept any refugees into the U.S., while 28 percent supported their acceptance. This showed a clear siding with Republican presidential candidates who want to freeze the Obama administration's resettlement program of 10,000 refugees for national security reasons.