Airbnb to offer free housing to those affected by Trump’s travel ban

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky tweeted: 'Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.'

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Airbnb, Brian Chesky speak onstage during Airbnb Open - Day 3 on November 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Airbnb, Brian Chesky speaks onstage during Airbnb Open - Day 3 on November 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Source: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Airbnb

CEO and Co-founder of US tech giant Airbnb Brian Chesky has tweeted that the company is providing free housing to refugees and anyone in need of accommodation as a result of US President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

The executive order has temporarily blocked immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and suspended the country’s refugee program, coming days after orders to tighten the countries response to undocumented immigrants.

The immigration order sparked chaos at airports around the world as airlines and immigration staff attempted to implement the bans, while thousands of Americans amassed at US airports in protest.

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Brian Chesky tweeted: “Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.”

While the CEO’s comments have received thousands of positive responses, it's not yet clear whether the company has received any requests for accommodation. 

The company has said it will provide more information on the offer "in the days ahead".

Reactions to the announcement haven’t been universally positive, some social media users have urged the company to do more to address domestic housing issues instead.

Airlines around the world have pledged to assist stranded travelers, with Qantas offering refunds and destination changes to any affected customers and Virgin Australia today expected to follow suit.

SBS understands that no travelers with either Qantas or Virgin Australia have yet been affected.

Mr Chesky is just one of numerous tech leaders to express concern over the President’s far-reaching executive order.

Mike Cannon-Brooks, Australian billionaire and co-founder of Atlassian, has called on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to follow Canada’s lead and issue a statement of support for refugees and immigrants.

“We are also a country built on immigrants. Let’s not forget that,” the tech-CEO said on Twitter.

Google has recalled US-based staff currently travelling overseas, with the executive order extending to US residents with green cards and work visas.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees he shared their concerns about the immigration order.

“It is not a policy we support,” he wrote in a memo to staff, obtained by the .

“We have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our co-workers and our company,” he wrote.



CEO and co-founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings, that President Trump’s actions were un-American.

“Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe,” he wrote.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted his immigrant ancestry and expressed concern about Trump’s earlier actions on the platform.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, an immigrant from South Africa, said on Twitter that many people who would be negatively affected by the policy were strong supporters of the US.

US tech companies have had an increasing interest in US immigration policy over recent years, with larger companies recruiting developers from around the world.

A number of prominent US tech CEO’s are first or second generation immigrants themselves.




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3 min read
Published 30 January 2017 at 8:43am
By Ben Winsor