Starbucks CEO counters Trump's travel ban with vow to hire 10,000 refugees

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has sent an open letter to staff pledging to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years in response to Donald Trump's immigration ban.

SEE ALSO: Airbnb offers free housing to those affected by Muslim travel ban

Schultz condemned the president's order saying it caused "confusion, surprise and opposition". He said recruitment will start in the United States and focus on immigrants "who have served with US troops as interpreters and support personnel".

Recruitment drive for refugees

The recruitment pledge was "a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination". It will apply to 10,000 refugees over 75 countries where Starbucks operates.

Schultz, who supported Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign, said Starbucks wants to communicate with workers more frequently.

"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," he wrote.

He added that he wanted his employees to know that the company would "neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new administration's actions grows with each passing day".

The letter also said that Starbucks would back coffee growers in Mexico, provide health insurance to eligible workers if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and support a Obama administration program that allows young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to apply for a 2-year reprieve from deportation and a work permit.

Revolt against Trump

Schultz is the latest US corporate chief to slam Trump's ban. Silicon Valley giants, tech and entertainment companies such as Apple, Uber, Netflix, Twitter, Google and Facebook have made public statements against it. Airbnb is offering free accommodation to those affected by travel restrictions.

Trump signed an executive order barring immigrants from seven countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen — from entering the United States for a minimum of 90 days. He also suspended the US refugee program for 120 days.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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