Students cancel planned 'catch an illegal immigrant' game following backlash

A group of students at the University of Texas-Austin (UT) cancelled a planned campus-wide "catch an illegal immigrant" game after becoming the target of intense criticism from administrators and members of the local, and national press. 

The conservative students had planned to label student volunteers as “illegal immigrants” and reward fellow students with $25 gift card each if they hunted-down the "illegal immigrants" and returned them a set destination on campus. 

In a Wednesday statement, Lorenzo Garcia, chairman of the UT Young Conservatives of Texas, the group that had planned the event, announced he had cancelled it due to possible disciplinary action from the school's administrators, and unspecified safety concerns. 

"I spoke with our chapters members, and they are both concerned that the university will retaliate against them and that the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers,” he wrote.

The group initially claimed it had hoped to "spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration, and how it affects our everyday lives.” The plan, however, was swiftly condemned by school President Bill Powers, who argued such an event would violate the institution's values. 

“The proposed YCT event is completely out of line with the values we espouse at The University of Texas at Austin," wrote Powers. "Our students, faculty and the entire university work hard both to promote diversity and engage in a respectful exchange of ideas. The Wednesday event does not reflect that approach or commitment.”

This image gallery posted by the the group, titled "Leftist Overreactions to YCT Event" includes screenshots of some of the backlash the group received in social media over the planned event. 

“Even though our event will not go forward, UT students, our state, and our nation need to have a serious discussion and debate about the issue of illegal immigration,” added Garcia.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion

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