by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA — An online protest against the ride-sharing app Uber continues to gain momentum, following the travel ban by President Donald Trump over the weekend.
The #DeleteUber campaign came after the company continued to send drivers to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, during a taxi-driver strike over the weekend against Trump’s travel ban.
The company continues to receive backlash due to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s role in the new president’s economic advisory council.
Fil-Am protestor Henry Cruz said he was acting in solidarity against Trump’s executive orders that put a travel ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Cruz decided to use Uber’s competitor, Lyft, which pledged to donate $1 million over four years to the American Civil Liberties Union — whose lawsuit resulted in an emergency stay Saturday that barred the deportation of people with valid visas who landed in the US.
“I am an immigrant, so I need to do my share. so it won’t hurt. there’s another company that will take me [around], and who goes with what america stands for, which is diversity and freedom.”
Meanwhile, Suzy Esquierdo from San Ramon, CA was a stay-at-home mom, until she started driving for Uber four weeks ago.
While she says that she does not support Trump’s travel ban, she will not stop driving for Uber.
“Honestly, I get that it’s kind of messed up with the whole immigration ban and all that, but I don’t really have time to worry about that because it doesn’t really affect me or my family,” said Esquierdo. “I don’t agree with what’s going on, but it’s not my decision.”
Kalanick is scheduled to meet with Trump on Friday.
In a Facebook post, he promises to speak to the President regarding the effects of the executive orders, while also setting aside a $3 million legal defense fund to help drivers affected by the ban.
Cruz and Esquierdo welcome the move, which they believe will help ease tensions across the country.
“It’s actually a good move, to show that they are a company that supports immigrants — especially here in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Cruz said. “You would think most of the companies here would support diversity.”
Agreed Esquierdo, “[Kalanick] taking the time out to even talk to the President, to see maybe if he can find some answers — I think that’s a step in the right direction.”
Esquierdo adds that she has no bad feelings toward anyone who deleted Uber in protest.
Meanwhile, Cruz says he will be happy to return to Uber — if it makes a more positive stance against the immigration ban –much like its competitor Lyft.