Starbucks pledges to hire 10,000 refugees

NEW YORK — Starbucks says it plans to hire 10,000 refugees over five years in the 75 countries where it does business.

Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz outlined the company’s plan in a memo sent to employees Sunday in response to President Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim majority countries.

“We are living in an unprecedented time,” Schultz wrote in the memo, which listed several actions the company says it is taking to “reinforce our belief in our partners around the world.”

The refugee hiring proposal, Schultz wrote, will begin with a focus on people who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel.

Schultz also reiterated Starbucks’ support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which helps undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children get driver’s licenses, enroll in college and secure jobs. The program was created by President Obama through an executive order in 2012.

And Schultz said the company is “ready to help and support our Mexican customers, partners and their families” should any proposed trade sanctions, immigration restrictions and taxes affect their businesses.

“We are in business to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time,” Schultz wrote. “That will not change. You have my word on that.”

Schultz is the latest business executive to weigh in on the travel ban. Earlier Sunday, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt wrote to employees that he shared their “concern” over the order, and added that GE has many employees from the countries named in the ban.

Several tech executives have also publicly denounced the travel ban.