On Saturday, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick voiced his concern about the immigration ban imposed by the Trump administration and said that he would bring this issue up to the president when meeting with him later this week. He also highlighted steps the on-demand ride sharing service would be taking to protect its drivers. The day after the Uber received criticism from the press and customers for not doing enough to resist the immigration policy, the company has revealed more details about its position.
In an email being sent to drivers, Kalanick shared that beyond providing compensation to those who will lose out on earnings because they’re banned from entering the U.S., Uber will also provide legal support to help them return. This effort includes the formation of a $3 million defense fund that will be used to assist drivers with any immigration and translation services.
Kalanick previously stated that some drivers spend considerable time in the U.S. making money to send to loved ones in other countries. They then take long breaks to head back overseas to see their extended families. Now many of them are caught up in this legal quagmire and are unable to return and make money to support their families. To help reduce the stress, Kalanick promised that Uber was working out a process “to identify these drivers and compensate them pro bono during the next three months.”
Details about how drivers would be compensated weren’t immediately revealed, but those looking for assistance can submit their personal details through a Google Docs form.
“At Uber we’ve always believed in standing up for what’s right. Today we need your help supporting drivers who may be impacted by the President’s unjust immigration ban,” the company’s CEO wrote.
While tech CEOs have come out with statements condemning the president’s action surrounding the treatment of immigrants and refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, some companies have taken more direct approaches to countering this Executive Order. Uber competitor Lyft announced it will be donating $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union over the next four years, while Airbnb will be hosting displaced refugees impacted by this action.
Criticism has been levied at Uber for its involvement with the Trump administration. Kalanick himself sits on the economic advisory board for the president, and there was public outcry when Uber drivers continued to operate while taxis were striking in protest of the immigration ban. This has led some to promote a #DeleteUber campaign. However, the company is continuing undeterred, and Kalanick apparently believes he can change Trump’s mind by having a seat at the table.
Here’s the email Kalanick is sending out to drivers:
Here’s the email I’m sending to drivers affected by President Trump’s unjust immigration and travel ban:
At Uber we’ve always believed in standing up for what’s right. Today we need your help supporting drivers who may be impacted by the President’s unjust immigration ban.
Drivers who are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen and live in the US but have left the country, will not be able to return for 90 days. This means they won’t be able to earn money and support their families during this period.
So it’s important that as a community that we do everything we can to help these drivers. Here’s what Uber will do:
- Provide 24/7 legal support for drivers who are trying to get back into the country. Our lawyers and immigration experts will be on call 24/7 to help.
- Compensate drivers for their lost earnings. This will help them support their families and put food on the table while they are banned from the US;
- Urge the government to reinstate the right of U.S. residents to travel—whatever their country of origin—immediately;
- Create a $3 million legal defense fund to help drivers with immigration and translation services.
If you are a driver or a friend or family member of someone who has been affected, please contact us at: https://goo.gl/forms/AIJTivooFxuExX1p1.
Uber is a community. We’re here to support each other. Please help Uber to help drivers who may be affected by this wrong and unjust immigration ban.