Refugees Took Over Trump’s Childhood Home
Donald Trump’s childhood home looks like every other house in Jamaica Estate, Queens—a small island of suburbia in one of the most diverse counties in America. This summer the man who leases it put it up on Airbnb; the journalists who couldn’t resist staying there for the story reported that it’s a bit like a museum to Trump. Copies of Art of the Deal are on the coffee table, photos of the Don in 1980s New York adorn the walls, and the kitchen cabinet is stacked with souvenir mugs from the campaign. Even the former reality TV show host’s self-help quotes—”Sheer persistence is the difference between success and failure”—are framed.
This Saturday the humanitarian aid group Oxfam found another use for it, renting the space and inviting reporters, including me, in to meet four refugees, whose prized possessions had been spread throughout the house. As a publicity stunt, it’s almost too on the nose: Here we were in the old home of a president who inherited a real estate empire talking to refugees who have had to build entirely new lives in an unfamiliar place—and who are the sort of people Trump wants less of in the country.