An international charity rented President Trump’s childhood home in Queens to house refugees during the UN General Assembly beginning this week.
The five-bedroom Jamaica Estates home, which sold at a March auction for $2.14 million, was listed on Airbnb in June, renting for $725 a night with a weekly discount of 20 percent and monthly discount of 40 percent. Trump lived there for the first four years of his life.
Oxfam rented the house and filled it with refugees from Syria, Somalia, and Vietnam “to send an unequivocal message to world leaders: refugees are welcome here.”
“Millions of families around the world have been forced to flee their homes in order to survive, creating the world’s worst displacement crisis since World War II,” the aid organization said. “In this moment, what better place to show world leaders the value of a safe, welcoming home for those fleeing unthinkable situations than the childhood home of the U.S. president. Oxfam invited refugees here to share their stories and call for greater action by the U.S. government and governments around the world to resettle and help refugees.”
Oxfam added: “The choices made in the coming weeks by President Trump, Congress, and the Supreme Court could determine whether the U.S. lives up to its historical values and continues to be a haven for people facing oppression and crisis.”
“In the coming weeks, President Trump will announce his decision on the number of refugees the U.S. will resettle in 2018. Congress will finalize spending bills, which determine the level of financial support the federal government will dedicate to aiding and resettling refugees. And the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the president’s unconstitutional refugee and Muslim ban.”
Last week, the Supreme Court issued a temporary ruling to block a 9th Circuit ruling that would have allowed up to 24,000 refugees into the country by the end of next month despite the administration’s travel ban. The clock has run out on the original restrictions from six Muslim-majority countries while legal limbo has dragged on, with the 90-day travel ban expiring later this month and 120-day ban on refugees expiring next month.
“It has never been more important for Americans to use their voice to let their government know that refugees are welcome here,” Oxfam said. “A cornerstone of the founding values of the U.S. was to offer oppressed people refuge from violence and persecution. Now as Americans we must open our minds, hearts, and communities to vulnerable refugees who are seeking a safe place to call home.”