By Brian Fagioli
On Friday, USA President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia). While it is not technically a Muslim ban, it effectively is so, as all of the countries listed are majority Islamic. Whether or not this is constitutional is up for debate, but thanks to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a judge has since issued a stay of the order.
Trump's order could have a negative impact on the technology community, such as Silicon Valley, since many smart people from those countries are quality contributors. That aside, Trump's order is also in conflict with USA values. While many technology companies have spoken out against the ban, one company has put its money where its mouth is. Today, Lyft donates $1 million to the ACLU. Why did it do so? The ride-sharing service says it is to "defend our values." This is after Uber has largely angered its loyal users.
"We created Lyft to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be: diverse, inclusive, and safe. This weekend, Trump closed the country's borders to refugees, immigrants, and even documented residents from around the world based on their country of origin. 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. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community," says John Zimmer and Logan Green, Lyft co-founders.
Zimmer and Green further say, "We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families, and friends. We stand with you, and are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other – and together, continue proving the power of community."
Lyft's biggest competitor, Uber, has not done itself any favors either, as the company did not join a wider JFK airport taxi ban meant to protest the Trump order. As a result, the hashtag #DeleteUber was trending on Twitter yesterday.
Over on that social network, some loyal Uber users are vowing to switch to Lyft as a result of the generosity. In other words, while the donation was not necessarily meant to be a means of advertising, the kind gesture could be a boost for the Lyft brand.
How does this donation make you feel about Lyft? Will you switch to it from Uber? Tell me in the comments.