- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

American and Canada are not the destinations of choice for Syrian refugees looking to escape the violence within their nation. Only 6 percent, in fact, cited North America as the place they would prefer to live in, this according to a new Gallup poll of Syrians released Monday.

The finding is topical. Republican lawmakers continue to wrangle with President Obama over his plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees, potentially in 190 cities around the nation. GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson journeyed to Jordan himself last weekend to visit with displaced Syrians himself, and he returned with a clear conclusion. Syrian refugees are not keen on coming to America, he told the Associated Press, as well as NBC News. Mr. Carson’s rival Donald Trump suggested that funds be used to improve and stabilize resettlement projects in Syria itself, creating a “safe zone” for civilians.

What are the refugees’ preferences, should they permanently relocate?

Gallup found that 39 percent of their 1,000-plus Syrian respondents cited Europe; 35 percent cited the Middle East and northern Africa. Another 10 percent said they would prefer to live somewhere in Asia.

Still, 30 percent said they would continue living in Syria.

Since the outbreak of civil war in the nation four years ago, some 4.2 million of its citizens have fled, according to United Nations estimates - though some organizations say the number is much higher. Currently, 690,000 have made asylum applications in Europe - primarily Serbia, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Netherlands, Austria and Bulgaria.

The Gallup poll confirms that the transitory life is a given among many of the poll respondents: 46 percent of Syrian residents say they would leave their country “if given the opportunity,” while another 43 percent expect to at least leave their current community in the next year.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,002 Syrian adults conducted throughout January and released Monday.

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