The logos of Airbnb Inc. sit on banners displayed outside a media event in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg)

Airbnb Founders Condemn Trump’s Family Separation Policy

(Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc. became one of the most high-profile technology companies to publicly condemn the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from parents accused of illegally crossing the U.S. border. In a joint statement, founders Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia described immigration officials’ practices as “heartless, cruel, immoral” and counter to American values.

Over the weekend, several lawmakers, human rights organizations and celebrities slammed the White House for separating migrant families with children at the U.S.-Mexico border. Some tech executives have spoken out against the approach, although the response hasn’t been as forceful as previous immigration issues, such as H-1B visas or Dreamers. 

Airbnb, whose head of policy and communications was a spokesman for President Bill Clinton, has repeatedly admonished the Trump administration on various issues. Last year, the home-rental provider advocated against a ban on travelers from majority Muslim countries and urged Congress to help Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Moments before the president’s State of the Union address in January, Airbnb ran a television advertisement saying, “Let’s open doors, not build walls.”

Microsoft Corp. sent mixed messages on the latest immigration situation. On Sunday, Microsoft President Brad Smith published a Linkedin post that insinuated his distaste with the government separation policy. “This Father’s Day provides an opportunity to recall one thing we shouldn’t take for granted—the opportunity to be with our children,” Smith wrote. “Given the news of migrant children being separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border, it’s especially poignant this year.”

Critics pointed to a January blog post from the software maker before the new policy was instituted boasting about the company’s work with U.S. immigration officials. Microsoft responded by quietly scrubbing the blog post, then republishing it and finally issuing a rebuke of the separation policy.

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