Starbucks is showing solidarity with refugees by promising them support amid an ongoing executive order by US president Donald Trump that restricts their entry into the United States.
In a Jan. 29 letter to employees, CEO Howard Schultz vowed to hire 10,000 refugees over a period of five years across 75 countries the company operates in. His announcement came two days after Trump’s order, which shut the United States to all refugees for the next four months, and to Syrian refugees indefinitely. The order also imposed a 90-day ban on entry to the US by citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.
Schultz indicated Starbucks will start the hirings with those who have served with US troops as interpreters and support personnel.
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. These uncertain times call for different measures and communication tools than we have used in the past.
Addressing a range of issues, Schultz also offered support to Mexico. The Trump administration wants to build a border wall and has suggested paying for it by implementing a 20% tax on all Mexican imports. Schultz wrote:
“We stand ready to help and support our Mexican customers, partners and their families as they navigate what impact proposed trade sanctions, immigration restrictions and taxes might have on their business and their trust of Americans.”
With the letter, Schultz joined a growing number of US business leaders who have publicly voiced their concerns about Trump’s order and how it could affect hiring and other operations.
Technology companies including Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, which rely heavily on foreign talent, have shown their disappointment over the ban. Google CEO Sundar Pichai estimated the order would affect at least 187 employees. Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company “would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.”