Watch How American Opinions Toward Refugees Have Changed Since the 1930s

The world is facing the largest refugee crisis in recent history, with 60 million people displaced. (See those numbers figures visualized here.) These stories have made headlines, as has public reaction worldwide. There was the artist who wrapped a Berlin concert hall with 14,000 life jackets to raise awareness about the refugee plight, as well as the genius students who made a coat that turns into a tent for refugees.

While the crisis is an undeniable issue, public opinion about where refugees should go is divided, especially in the United States. The U.S. has been a safe haven for many immigrants, but refugees are a unique case. Depending on the political climate and nature of the conflict that caused displacement, the American public has varied opinions on whether or not the U.S. should accept refugees. Sometimes the public is equally divided for and against; more often in our history the majority has disapproved.

This video from GOOD Magazine visualizes how public opinion toward refugees has changed over time, from conflicts like WWII and Vietnam to Cuba and the Syrian refugee crisis. As we see, the debate has been going on for decades and will only continue. Regardless of your own beliefs, it’s an interesting look at our ever-changing politics.

Share this Story