Saturday 23 September 2017

Airbnb offers free housing to refugees affected by Trump immigration crackdown

Demonstrators shout slogans during anti-Donald Trump immigration ban protests inside Terminal 4 at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Kate Munsch
Demonstrators shout slogans during anti-Donald Trump immigration ban protests inside Terminal 4 at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California, U.S., January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Kate Munsch
Amy Mulvaney

Amy Mulvaney

Home-renting service Airbnb is offering free housing to refugees and anyone who is refused entry to the US as a result of Donald Trump's immigration crackdown.

Thousands of travellers are facing uncertainty about whether they will be granted entry to the US following President Donald Trump's order on "extreme vetting" that he introduced on Friday, and home-renting service Airbnb is offering help to those who may be left with nowhere to stay if they are turned away at immigration control.

Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb Brian Chesky said on Twitter that anyone who may be in need of accommodation following the introduction of the new regulations can stay in Airbnb housing for free.

"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," he said.

"Open doors brings all of US together. Closing doors further divides US. Let's all find ways to connect people, not separate them."

The order, which has been denounced by civil rights groups as discriminatory,  bars the entry of foreign nationals from certain countries for 90 days. While no countries are specifically named in the order, it refers to a statute that would apply to seven Muslim-majority nations: Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq and a 120-day suspension of the US refugee programme.

Travellers from those nations were either barred from getting on their flights or detained at US airports after they landed, including tourists, foreign students and people trying to visit friends and family.

Protests broke out at several US airports where travellers were being held, including a gathering of several hundred people outside San Francisco's main airport and a raucous demonstration of at least 2,000 people at New York's Kennedy International Airport.

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