By many measures, Chobani embodies the classic American immigrant success story.
Its founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, is a Turkish immigrant of Kurdish descent. He bought a defunct yogurt factory in upstate New York, added a facility in Twin Falls, Idaho, and now employs about 2,000 people making Greek yogurt.
But in this contentious election season, the extreme right has a problem with Chobani: In its view, too many of those employees are refugees.
As Mr. Ulukaya has stepped up his advocacy — employing more than 300 refugees in his factories, starting a foundation to help migrants, and traveling to the Greek island of Lesbos to witness the crisis firsthand — he and his company have been targeted with racist attacks on social media and conspiratorial articles on websites including Breitbart News.
Now there are calls to boycott Chobani. Mr. Ulukaya and the company have been taunted with racist epithets on Twitter and Facebook. Fringe websites have published false stories claiming Mr. Ulukaya wants “to drown the United States in Muslims.” And the mayor of Twin Falls has received death threats, partly as a result of his support for Chobani.
Online hate speech is on the rise, reflecting the rising nationalism displayed by some supporters of Donald J. Trump, who has opposed resettling refugees in the United States.
“What’s happening with Chobani is one more flash point in this battle between the voices of xenophobia and the voices advocating a rational immigration policy,” said Cecillia Wang, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.
Chobani and Mr. Ulukaya declined to comment for this article. The Trump campaign did not reply to a request for comment.
Mr. Ulukaya arrived in upstate New York in the 1990s to attend school. By 2002, he was making and selling feta cheese inspired by a family recipe.
By DAVID GELLES for The New York Times
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