The Internet is on fire after Lyft announced that it would donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, which bans Muslims from the U.S.
In an email from Lyft to users, and in a blog post, the company noted that the executive order is “antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”
The release went on to announce that the company has pledged to donate “$1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution.”
According to US Today:
Uber’s actions during President Trump’s immigration ban Saturday stirred an impromptu wave of people deleting the ride-hailing app from their phones, while the company’s chief rival made a donation to fight the blockade.
Uber angered some users by temporarily canceling surge pricing for rides from New York’s JFK Airport, which taxi drivers were briefly boycotting to voice their opposition to Trump’s “inhumane and unconstitutional” action.
Angry users viewed the move as a bid to undercut taxi drivers who voluntarily relinquished lucrative fares to join the protest against the temporary detention of foreigners who were denied entry to the U.S. after arriving on planes.
The controversy spiraled into a trending topic on Twitter — #deleteuber — as users removed the app from their phones in protest.
“Last tweet not meant to break strike,” Uber’s New York City operation said on Twitter.
Microsoft, Uber, Apple, Google: How the tech world responded to Trump’s immigration ban
Hours later, fierce rival Lyft announced that it would donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is battling Trump’s ban on travelers from certain primarily Muslim countries.
Lyft’s co-founders aggressively assailed the Trump policy, while Uber’s CEO was mildly critical.
“Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values,” Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green said in a blog post. “We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”
Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.
— Uber NYC (@Uber_NYC) January 29, 2017
In a mini essay on Facebook addressing Trump’s action, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick did not address the #deleteuber movement or the JFK ride policy, but he pledged to address the matter Friday in a pre-scheduled meeting with the president. He said Uber would compensate any affected drivers who are stuck outside the U.S. for three months due to Trump’s action.
Kalanick recently agreed to join a group of American CEOs serving as an advisory voice to the president.
The scene at JFK as taxi drivers strike following Trump’s immigration ban
“While every government has their own immigration controls, allowing people from all around the world to come here and make America their home has largely been the U.S.’s policy since its founding. That means this ban will impact many innocent people,” he said.
He added: “I understand that many people internally and externally may not agree with that decision, and that’s OK. It’s the magic of living in America that people are free to disagree. But whatever your view please know that I’ve always believed in principled confrontation and just change; and have never shied away (maybe to my detriment) from fighting for what’s right.”
A group representing New York taxi drivers called on Uber and Lyft drivers to join cab drivers in a protest Sunday afternoon at Battery Park City.
“The fight continues!” the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said on Facebook.
The tension between Uber and taxi drivers and between Uber and Lyft was one of several subplots as the business world reacted to Trump ban.
Several tech executives denounced Trump’s action. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky criticized the ban and offered free housing to anyone displaced by the order.
Airbnb offers free housing for refugees
The CEOs of Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Tesla Motors also denounced the policy, which could affect their own employees.