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Free Housing For Refugees Offered By Airbnb

A day after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order indefinitely banning Syrian refugees, and temporarily blocking refugees and citizens from six other majority-Muslim countries—including permanent US residents—a federal judge issued an emergency stay for those currently detained in the US. Home-sharing company Airbnb has its own response for refugees: We’ve got a free place where you can stay.

“Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US,” CEO Brian Chesky tweeted on Saturday night, as protests erupted in major US airports over Trump’s order. On Friday and Saturday, an estimated 100 to 200 people were prohibited from entering the US.

The company declined to provide additional details.

Chesky has spoken out about Trump in the past. When asked about the then presidential candidate in France last spring, Chesky said that “anyone who tries to put up barriers against culture is going to be on the wrong side of history.”

Airbnb relies on a network of thousands of hosts, who rent out rooms, apartments, and entire houses to, essentially, absolute strangers. Its entire business model is predicated on people immersing themselves in a variety of cultures. It also competes directly with a business Trump knows well: hotels.

Others in the travel industry are also decrying the immigration order. Moral considerations or not, a curb on travel is bad for business.

“The president’s order represents the worst of his proclivity toward rash action versus thoughtfulness,” Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who was born in Iran, said in a statement emailed to Quartz. “Ours is a nation of immigrants. These are our roots, this is our soul. All erased with the stroke of a pen.”

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