Google, Uber, and Lyft pledge millions to legal fights to protect immigrants


Google and America’s two largest rideshare startups reached into their war chests late Sunday in response to President Trump’s immigration-restricting executive order. Lyft announced it would donate $1 million to the constitutional law non-profit American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Uber created a $3 million legal defense fund for any drivers who are impacted by the edicts, and finally Google pledged $2 million for various organizations encouraging their employees to match that figure with $2 million of their own.

“We created Lyft to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be: diverse, inclusive, and safe” the Lyft co-founders Logan Green wrote in a joint communiqué. “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.”

Google’s move was first reported by USA Today. The money will be committed to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee, UNHCR, as well as the ACLU. Not to be outdone, Uber announced its own $3 million fund to help drivers with legal and translation services. They will also “compensate drivers for their lost earnings,” though how they would calculate that was unclear.

“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,” Uber Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a Facebook post. “So it’s important that as a community that we do everything we can to help these drivers.”

Uber has requested any drivers affected and in need of assistance fill out this form.

That move follows a marathon of condemnations from prominent figures in the tech/startup world, ranging from nuanced rejection to seething anger, though some would say the response from Silicon Valley has been too tepid.


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