UNITED STATES—Two days after President Donald Trump implemented new immigrant policies, which temporarily banned people native to Iran, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia from immigrating to the United States, Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz sent out a letter to employees informing them of his plan to hire approximately 10,000 refugees over the next five years.
According to reports, Schultz’s plan is said to be a response to Trump’s “indefinite suspension” of refugees.
Schultz, who supported Hillary Clinton in the presidential campaign, announced that the coffee chain, with locations in 75 different countries, will begin hiring refugees worldwide, commencing in the United States. He asserted to reporters that he plans to hire those “who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel.”
Schultz acknowledged Trump’s plan to deter Mexican immigrants by constructing a wall along the border, asserting that he has a desire to “build bridges, not walls,” with Mexico. He also showed support for migrants who are members of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program and Mexican employees and customers of Starbucks. Yahoo News reported through Agence France Presse that Mexico “has provided Starbucks with coffee for three decades and where nearly 600 Starbucks coffee shops employ 7,000 people.”
Those who opposed the CEO’s plans took to social media to express their dissatisfaction using the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks. The site mentioned that some of these users insist it will be harder for Americans to find employment. A counter-protest cultivated on Twitter, where people used the hashtag #BuyStarbucks.
“We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question,” Shultz indicated in the letter to his employees.
“This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination. These uncertain times call for different measures and communication tools than we have used in the past.”
He also informed recipients, “There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business.”