David Cameron was today urged to ignore the "emotional craving" to be seen as wanting to help people fleeing from Syria.
Conservative MP Philip Davies said Syrian refugees could "not be made any safer" by being allowed into the UK.
"The facts of the matter are that those refugees who have already made it into the EU are already safe and we can't make them any safer," he said.
"Can I therefore urge the prime minister to have regard to the silent majority in this country and base his decisions on common sense and being practical and not based on the affliction of so many other politicians, which is some kind of emotional craving to be seen as compassionate irrespective of the practicalities of the situation."
Davies' comments followed the announcement that the UK will accept up to 20,000 refugees over the course of the next five years.
The prime minister's announcement was criticised by opposition MPs for amounting to just a handful of refugees per parliamentary constituency.
"That amounts to just 12 refugees a day," Green MP Caroline Lucas said.
"That falls pitifully short of what's needed and what people in this country deserve and accept."
Others made comparisons with the much larger numbers being taken in by Germany and other European countries.
"The right honourable gentleman said we are going to take in 20,000 refugees over five years. The Germans took in 10,000 in one day. What kind of comparison is that?," Labour's Gerald Kaufmann said.
"If we don't do it now we will live to regret it for the rest of our lives."