Starbucks (and Others) Announce Plans to Hire or Assist Refugees Affected by US Muslim Ban

Starbucks is only one of a handful of notable American companies that has just announced plans to hire—and even house and support—people who have been affected by President Trump’s sweeping immigration ban. The plan is to hire approximately 10,000 refugees, around the world, in the next 5 years.

Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz outlined the company’s new plan in a memo he sent out to employees on Sunday, noting, “We are living in an unprecedented time,” listing this action in a series of other efforts the company is making in an effort to “reinforce our belief in our partners around the world.”
Schultz goes on to say that this hiring proposal will start with a focus on those who have served as interpreters and support personnel for US troops. In addition, though, Schultz has also reiterated that the company supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (which you might know as DACA), a measure intended to assist undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States from their home country, as children. These children need help getting their driver’s licenses, enrolling in college, and securing jobs.

In addition, Schultz notes that Starbucks is “ready to help and support our Mexican customers, partners and their families,” in the event that any proposed immigration restrictions, taxes, and trade sanctions might affect their local business.

He explains, “We are in business to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. That will not change. You have my word on that.”
Schultz also makes sure to comment that all past assurances the company has made to employees who had purchased health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (aka, “Obamacare”) “will always have access to health insurance through Starbucks,” regardless of what might happen if the law is repealed.

In addition to Starbucks, major gig economy companies like Airbnb and Lyft have vowed to provide assistance. On its website for example, Airbnb says, “If free housing is not available in certain markets, Airbnb will subsidize the cost of necessary listings.” Lyft announced a plan to donate $1 million USD to the American Civil Liberties Union over the next four years in an effort “to defend our constitution.”

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