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Helping People Belong Anywhere Matters Now More Than Ever

This post was originally published on Airbnb Citizen

To the entire Airbnb community across the world,

In the wake of the recent order banning people from certain countries from traveling to the United States, we want to update you about how Airbnb is responding.

Last night, Brian Chesky sent the below email to Airbnb staff globally. Brian also announced that Airbnb is working with partners around the world to support refugees and those who may have been affected unexpectedly by the travel ban, including by providing free accommodations.

What you do every day to create a sense of belonging and break down walls is now more important than ever, and we’re here to support you. If you would like to make your listing available for free to those affected, you can do so here. If you or someone you know is in need of accommodation as a result of this travel ban, please contact Brian at brian.chesky@airbnb.com.

Thank you for all you already do every day to help create a world in which anyone can belong anywhere.

The Airbnb Citizen Team

Hey Team,

Yesterday, the President of the United States signed an executive order limiting immigration and travel into the US for certain people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

This is a policy that I profoundly disagree with, and it is a direct obstacle to our mission at Airbnb.

We believe that you should be able to travel to, and live in any community around the world. This is what we mean when we say anyone should be able to belong anywhere. If we want this to be more than just something we put on a plaque, we have to take action. So here are some of the actions we are taking.

Within hours of the order, we were in touch with those people on our team who we know are impacted, not just to offer help and resources but to make clear they have the unwavering support of everyone at this company. We also reached out to our team members who are not affected by the order but who work in the US on visas and green cards, in order to inform them that the same resources and support will be available to them.

To everyone here, if you believe this executive order could impact you, please let us know as soon as possible so the team can support you. This is obviously a dynamic situation and our team is vigilantly tracking these developments.

Living up to our mission means supporting our global community, as well. Thanks to the dedication of Joe Gebbia and others, we’ve partnered with and supported organizations focused on the needs of refugees around the world since 2015. Airbnb has offered free housing to hundreds of relief workers serving on the front lines of the global refugee crisis. We launched a donation tool on our website to make it easy for our community to join us by financially contributing to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to meet the most pressing needs, an effort that has helped raise over $1.6 million thus far.

In light of this new policy, however, we must do more. It’s why I announced that Airbnb is now providing free housing to refugees and anyone recently barred from entering the US. We have an internal team working on this in coordination with key partners to identify needs and will have more information for everyone soon.

Barring refugees and people who are not a threat from entering America simply because they are from a certain country is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected. The doors to America shall remain open, and any that are locked will not be for long.

Brian

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