Would you welcome refugees to your community?

World leaders attend a working session on the Global Economy during the G20 summit in Antalya, on November 15, 2015. Leaders from the world's top 20 industrial powers meet in Turkey from November 15 seeking to overcome differences on a range of issues including the Syria conflict, the refugee crisis and climate change.
World leaders attend a working session on the Global Economy during the G20 summit in Antalya, on November 15, 2015. Leaders from the world's top 20 industrial powers meet in Turkey from November 15 seeking to overcome differences on a range of issues including the Syria conflict, the refugee crisis and climate change.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

In the wake of the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris, fears in Europe and the United States are mounting that terrorists may be hiding among the throngs of refugees fleeing Iraq and Syria, prompting some U.S. lawmakers to demand a halt to resettlement programs until tighter screening measures are adopted. (U.S.-bound Syrian refugees already undergo extra scrutiny that involves extensive background checks and in-person interviews, and takes on average 18–24 months to complete.)

Those concerns appear to be echoed in a Bloomberg Politics poll that found 53 percent of Americans don’t want to accept any Syrian refugees at all; 11 percent more would accept only Christian refugees from Syria. 

But a look back into the opinion-polling archives (courtesy of Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research) shows that American opposition to admitting large numbers of foreigners fleeing war and oppression has been pretty consistent, regardless of official government policy.

How does history inform your perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis? Have current events altered your views? What personal experiences have helped to shape your beliefs, hopes and fears? Your stories and insights can provide valuable context for journalists covering this story.

Responses are confidential and will not be published without your permission.