Making good on his campaign promise of “extreme vetting” for immigrants, President Trump signed an executive order that will prevent refugees from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Libya from entering the United Stated for the next 120 days. The brash order was done in such haste that there was little discussion on how it would be implemented, causing confusion for refugees and documented immigrants alike. As a result, many visa and green card holders who were already traveling during the time that the order was signed were either detained or forced to return to their country of origin.
As protests over the ban took shape across the country, short-term rental site Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky decided to help those stranded as a result of the order. In a string of tweets, Chesky denounced the President’s “Muslim Ban” and decided that Airbnb would provide free housing to refugees and all others that were being shunned by the ban (h/t Brick Underground). “This is a policy that I profoundly disagree with, and it is a direct obstacle to our mission at Airbnb,” Chesky said in a statement.
As a result of Chesky’s solicit for volunteers to open up their homes to refugees, Airbnb has received a ton of responses and is currently sorting through them.
“We are responding to requests from individuals who have reached out to us directly and we are also working with relief organizations to further identify people in need of temporary housing due to the travel ban,” a rep told Curbed. At the moment, Airbnb does not have a rough estimate on the number of responses received from Airbnb members in the New York City area.
Individuals interested in volunteering their homes can learn more here. Keep in mind that New York State rules still apply and it is illegal to advertise a vacant apartment on Airbnb in a multiple-welling building for 30 or fewer days and carries the risk of incurring fines up to $7,500. Residents who rent spare bedrooms, own row houses or single-family homes are exempt from the law.
Open doors brings all of US together. Closing doors further divides US. Let's all find ways to connect people, not separate them.— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 28, 2017
Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017