In an effort to turn the spotlight from the current administration's lies about refugees to the refugees themselves, international anti-poverty organization Oxfam rented out President Donald Trump's childhood home in Queens on Saturday for survivors of conflict.
The organization also welcomed journalists with the intention of creating a space in which the refugees could share their stories, surrounded by the innocent beginnings of the man attempting to undo all that they've built.
"We wanted to send a strong message to Trump and world leaders that they must do more to welcome refugees," Shannon Scribner, acting director for the Humanitarian Department at Oxfam, told ABC News.
The president reportedly lived in the house, which was built by his father in 1940, until he was 4 years old. According to ABC News, it was auctioned off to an unknown buyer in March and is now available for rent for a hefty $725 a night on Airbnb.
Oxfam saw an opportunity for refugees to be seen and heard amid escalating xenophobia and racism in America, and opened the home's doors to four individuals resettled in states around the country after fleeing violence and poverty in their homelands.
"Knowing Donald Trump was here at the age of four makes me think about where I was at the age of four," Eiman Ali, 22, who escaped war-ravaged Somalia for a new life in America when she was 3, told ABC News. "We're all kids who are raised to be productive citizens, who have all these dreams and hopes."
Along with Ali, Abdi Iftin, who resettled from Somalia in 2014; Uyen Nguyen, who came to California as a child in 1985 from Vietnam; and Ghassan al-Chahada, who escaped Syria with his family and resettled in Maryland in 2015, visited Trump's home. They each spoke about what the American dream means to them and expressed fear that the safety they had found was under threat due to the president's policies and rhetoric.
"I would advise him to remember, to think about how he felt when he slept in this bedroom," al-Chahada told reporters when asked what he would say to Trump if he could meet him. "If he can stay in tune with who he was as a child, the compassion children have and the mercy, I would say he's a great person."
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters photographer Lucas Jackson