In a direct response to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced the company will hire 10,000 refugees in the 75 countries where it does business, with the effort starting in the United States.
“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,” Schultz wrote in a company-wide memo on Sunday. “These uncertain times call for different measures and communication tools than we have used in the past.”
“There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plan to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business,” he continued.
According to the announcement, the refugee hiring plan will start with an initial focus on “those individuals who have served with US troops as interpreters and support personnel.” The letter also denounced some of the president’s other controversial policies, including his plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The letter on Sunday adds Schultz to a growing list of business executives who have publicly criticized Trump’s immigration order since it was signed on Friday. While the hiring proposal was largely met with praise, some have taken to social media to protest Starbucks:
@xatzisotiris Hey Starbucks, Why not hire Veterans if you want to play righteous? Oh right. That wouldnt be spiteful.@Starbucks @Starbucksnews
— Victorious Hanover (@Sgperformer) January 30, 2017
#starbucks Why don’t you hire the vets instead of refugees who might really ruin your business? #BoycottStarbucks
— Marilynn Randall (@emjayr1942) January 30, 2017