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31 Jan, 2017 14:55

Drink or boycott? Starbucks coffee war erupts on Twitter over US immigration policy

A bizarre debate on whether or not to boycott Starbucks coffee is bubbling over on Twitter, splitting java drinkers between pro- and anti-Trump travel ban camps.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s announcement that the coffee giant would hire 10,000 refugees came in a statement in which he mentioned his “deep concern” at US President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting entry from seven predominantly-Muslim nations.

“I also want to take this opportunity to announce specific actions we are taking to reinforce our belief in our partners around the world and to ensure you are clear that we will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new administration’s actions grows with each passing day,” Schultz wrote.

The mention of “doubling down” on helping refugees “fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination” prompted outrage online.

Using the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks, scores of Twitter users vented their concern about apparently preferential employment for refugees.

But Starbucks, as mentioned in their own press release, actually plans to hire 10,000 refugees in five years across 75 countries, including the US.

To put that in perspective, the company has more than 24,000 stores internationally, according to its website.

Twitter users supporting the coffee brand’s employment plan have taken on an opposing hashtag calling for people to actually #Drinkstarbucks.