Coffee giant Starbucks is in the headlines after responding to President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration executive order by pledging to hire 10,000 refugees in the next five years — a proclamation that has led some critics to boycott the company.
The situation quickly heated up after Trump signed his immigration order on Friday, with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz responding by sending a letter to every employee directly addressing the “confusion” that the order created; that letter was then made public on Starbucks’ website.
“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,” he wrote. “These uncertain times call for different measures and communication tools than we have used in the past.”
Schultz pledged to communicate more frequently with staff, continuing, “I am hearing the alarm you all are sounding that the civility and human rights we have all taken for granted for so long are under attack, and want to use a faster, more immediate form of communication to engage with you on matters that concern us all as partners.”
The Starbucks head went on to say that the company will support young undocumented “Dreamers,” that the company will intentionally hire 10,000 refugees in the coming years, will increase efforts to “build bridges, not walls” with Mexico by helping through donations and other measures — and pledged to continue offering health care.
“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,” Schultz wrote.” 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.”
— Deplorable Vet 🇺🇸 (@KGBVeteran) January 30, 2017
Would you do business with someone who hated you, tried to kill you, or hired people that HATE you and want to KILL you? #BoycottStarbucks
— Lori Hendry (@Lrihendry) January 31, 2017
Starbucks was and always will be gross. Support small business, buy coffee beans from your local coffee shops/roasters #BoycottStarbucks
— CJ (@deplorable_dad) January 30, 2017
While Trump is creating jobs for struggling Americans, the left is cheering Starbucks for giving 10,000 to refugees. #BoycottStarbucks
— Jeremy Nolt (@RealJeremyNolt) January 30, 2017
Some critics reacted to the Starbucks statement by pushing back and joining calls for a boycott on the coffee company, seeing Schultz’s statement as simply too political.
And others voiced concern that the refugee policy could make it tougher for Americans to find employment.
Of course, the debate didn’t end there, as proponents of Starbucks responded with a #BuyStarbucks hashtag, urging supporters to head out and purchase java from the company. Some have simply commended Starbucks for being so willing to step up to help refugees in such a public and fervent way.
— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) January 30, 2017
— Danielle McQueen (@danielle0904) January 30, 2017
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) January 30, 2017
Honestly who cares who works at Starbucks as long as I can get my venti caramel machiato with whip then I'm fine 💁💁💁💁💁#BoycottStarbucks
— Brennen Taylor (@BrennenTaylor) January 30, 2017
So, there you have it. Another day, another political drama.
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