Uber Is Under #DeleteUber Attack After Trump's Immigration Order

Uber, not exactly a bastion of moral leadership, fails again in airport refugee protests.

Demonstrators Protest At JFK Airport As White House Defends Immigrant Ban
Michael Nagle—Bloomberg via Getty Images

After President Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, Uber is taking heat on social media after it responded in a way people felt was irresponsible—and even predatory—during a sensitive time.

Uber, which has earned its reputation for steamrolling worker rights and profiteering off local transportation disasters, suspended surge pricing while taxis were stopping service in solidarity with the stranded immigrants and refugees.

Trump's White House issued a sweeping immigration order on Friday that banned travel from Syria, Sudan, Yemen and four other countries, while leaving Saudi Arabia—the home of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers—off the list. Protests erupted across the country, and by Saturday afternoon had sprung up at airports in major cities around the country, where more than 100 visa holders were in limbo after the executive order took effect.

Thousands gathered at JFK airport's Terminal 4 in New York City, where the Taxi Worker's Alliance called for a complete stop to pickups. Two Iraqis were being detained here.

Meanwhile, Uber went against the grain and announced it was actually suspending surge pricing from JFK—effectively lowering the cost of a ride. Uber's CEO, Travis Kalanick, is a noted Trump supporter.

Immediately, a backlash hit Uber, and the #DeleteUber campaign began trending on Twitter. It was impactful enough that early Sunday morning Uber issued a tweeted telling followers the move was not meant to break up the strike. 

According to Kalanick, the company is trying to identify drivers from the seven banned countries who could be impacted by the ban. For those currently stuck outside the United States, Kalanick said Uber would help compensate for their missed wages during the 90-day period of the ban.

Meanwhile, ride-sharing upstart Lyft, which recently announced it will be expanding to 25 more cities, has come out strong against Trump and his immigration policies with a $1 million pledge to the ACLU.