President Donald Trump passed a controversial immigration order last week. His executive order on Friday banned the entry of immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim countries from entering the US. The order is set for 90 days, with Syrians banned indefinitely. In a twist to the story, Uber has received criticism for its response to the order, while rival company Lyft has won praise.
New York cab drivers joined in a protest against Trump’s order at JFK International Airport on Friday. However, Uber sent out a tweet saying that the company had suspended its surge pricing during this time. This essentially means customers could get a ride at the normal fare, which many consumers saw as Uber undermining the protest.
Ride-share competitor Lyft, on the other hand, kept out of the situation. However, the company did donate $1 million towards the American Civil Liberties Union. Lyft says the donation will be made over the next four years.
The New York Taxi Alliance has often been at odds with Uber and Lyft, but it called on the companies and its own 19,000 drivers not to collect at JFK. Many cabbies within the group are Muslim, with many Uber and Lyft drivers also practicing the faith. Uber later denied it was undermining the protest and apologized for any confusion.
“We’re sorry for any confusion about our earlier tweet—it was not meant to break up any strike. We wanted people to know they could use Uber to get to and from JFK at normal prices, especially tonight,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement to MarketWatch.
“We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community,” John Zimmer and Logan Green, Lyft’s co-founders, wrote in the email.