Members of online messageboard 4chan are accused of spreading a fake Starbucks coupon ad intended to lure undocumented immigrants to the coffee chain, possibly to target them for deportation.
Think Progress reports that the ad touts a fake promotion called “Starbucks Dreamer Day” on August 11, offering undocumented immigrants 40% off anything on the menu. A “dreamer” refers to an undocumented immigrant who arrived in the United States as a child, and the name comes from a bill that aim to provide some members of this group with conditional or permanent residency.
The ad also includes the hashtag #BorderFreeCoffee and reads: “Use the coupon code ‘UNAFRAID’ for a free Grande cold beverage from any store.”
Starbucks spokesperson John Kelly told the Associated Press that the ad and the promotion are “completely false. One hundred percent fake.”
The Think Progress report says that the meme appears to have originated on 4chan, an image-sharing messageboard that was allegedly behind a major leak of nude photos of celebrity women, including Jennifer Lawrence, in 2014. Someone on 4chan reportedly took credit for the fake ad, saying the point was to lure undocumented immigrants with the promise of “free stuff,” and thus validating a damaging false stereotype that immigrants are lazy or freeloaders.
Some internet users sharing the ad have reportedly suggested that people call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to send them to Starbucks locations on August 11 in order to target the Dreamers.
Feature photo: 4Chan