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Starbucks to hire 10,000 refugees over five years after Trump's travel ban

Editor: Wang Lingxiao 丨Xinhua

02-01-2017 10:59 BJT

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Starbucks has announced a plan to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in 75 countries in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban.

"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," Haward Schultz, the coffee retailer's chairman and CEO, said in a letter to employees on Sunday.

"And we will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for such support," Schultz added.

Under the executive order Trump signed Friday, refugees from all over the world will be suspended U.S. entry for 120 days while all immigration from the so-called "countries with terrorism concerns will be suspended for 90 days."

Moreover, Schultz committed to offer Starbucks employees the access to health insurance even if the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, is repealed causing them to lose their healthcare coverage.

In open defiance against Trump's proposal to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, Schultz said the company is "building bridges, not walls, with Mexico," noting that "we will continue to invest in this critically important market all the same."

This is not the first time that the outspoken CEO took aim at some of Trump's agenda, including asking customers not to bring guns into stores.

Schultz is among CEOs of some of the world' s biggest companies who are fighting back against the controversial travel ban.

The heads of Apple, Ford and Goldman Sachs also said they don't support Trump's executive order.

The Starbucks decision also caused a stir on social media, with #BoycottStarbucks became a trending topic on Twitter immediately after the company's announcement.

Twitter user named "The Trump Train" tweeted that "Black American unemployment rate is double the national average but Starbucks is looking to hire refugees." The post has got more than 5,500 likes and 3,300 retweets as of Tuesday.

Still, there are many more Starbucks supporters including actress Jessica Chastain. Chastain tweeted that "#Starbucks plans to hire 10,000 refugees #buyStarbucks."

Another Twitter user named "The Vocal Majority" posted a photo showing a hand holding a cup of Starbucks coffee and said "doing my part to support Starbucks in the face of #boycottstarbucks."

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