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UT Austin SG Passes Resolution Supporting Undocumented Students Without Any Republican Votes


by: Omar Araiza

Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 01:00 PM CDT



Photo Credit: Jonathan Garza, Daily Texan Staff.
Seems like the Young Conservatives of Texas, Longhorn Libertarians and Republicans of Texas are already beginning to mirror the border-line anti-Latino qualities their elected Republican officials hold in Congress.

A resolution regarding undocumented students was passed by a vote of 18-9-2 at the Student Government Assembly meeting last Tuesday, without any support by Young Conservatives of Texas, Longhorn Libertarians and Republicans of Texas.

The resolution in question, entitled AR 16 - "In Support of Undocumented Students and Undocumented Longhorns Week" - outlines SG's recognition of the importance of all undocumented students at UT and Undocumented Longhorns Week, which took place this month.

Leaders from Young Conservatives of Texas, Longhorn Libertarians and Republicans of Texas submitted a letter addressed to SG representatives asking them to vote against AR 16 last week. The letter addressed their own concerns of wanting to provide a voice to the "silent majority" on campus.

View the letter and read more on the story below the jump.

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Dear Student Government Representatives:

We collectively write to you today wanting to address a particular concern and indeed voice our objection to what is currently transpiring in the Student Government under AR 16. Such resolution that is intrinsically a political statement and which was brought by an overtly political group should subject to your utmost scrutiny and prudence as representatives for all students. The notion of representation and indeed Student Government legitimacy are at stake. This is not a mere issue with "language" of the legislation. We would suggest to you that the passage of this very resolution would rended this Student Government nothing more than a rubber stamp organization that would be powerless to stand up on students' behalf.

There is a time and place for everything. This legislation usurps your legitimacy for a particular group's agenda. Please stand up for the thousands of students who are not thumping their chests, breathing down your necks and bullying your votes to advance their parochial agendas.

We strongly urge you to vote NO on AR 16 tonight in order to stand up and provide voice to the voiceless and the silent majority on this intellectually besieged campus, where often rhetoric and ad hominem have robbed away common sense and reason. If you feel uncomfortable voting NO on this resolution, we would alternatively urge you to motion and second to table this controversial legislation that is currently dividing our campus community.

You most respectful constituents,

[Signed by the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of Young Conservatives, Longhorn Libertarians, and College Republicans at Texas.]

During debate, Andrew Houston, architecture and urban studies senior and chair of the rules and regulation committee, moved to amend the resolution and change the title to "In Recognition of Undocumented Students and Undocumented Longhorns Week." The amendment failed to pass by a vote of 11-20.

"I believe that there are other ways to support undocumented students, both within the resolution itself and by actions taken by student government," Houston said.

Economics junior Stephen Vincent proposed an amendment during the final debate to alter the wording of the resolution. This amendment also failed to pass following a vote of 9-21.

Christopher Jordan, McCombs representative and business and English major, thinks representatives opposed to the legislation are fully supportive of their undocumented peers but have issues with the wording of the resolution.

"I support this cause," Jordan said. "What I don't support is this resolution - this alarmingly partisan resolution."

Jordan said he attended the Legislative Affairs Committee meetings discussing AR 16. He said members of the committee and authors of the resolution did not allow representatives opposed to the bill to make any amendments.

Danny Zeng, government and finance senior and president of College Republicans, said he thinks the resolution should be put up for a referendum.

"Take [this] into consideration: This is a political opinion, and I challenge the proponents of the resolution to tell me straight to my face that this has nothing to do with being political," Zeng said.

Government freshman Kallen Dimitroff believes that by voting to pass the resolution, the assembly would be supporting an impassioned portion of the student body.

"I think saying 'yes' speaks a lot louder of us and our character as student leaders than saying 'no' does," Dimitroff said.

During the debate, Ugeo Williams, SG vice president, said one of his close friends is undocumented.

"I honestly just believe that [undocumented students are] asking for support. Remember, we don't make laws," Williams said. "They're just asking for support."

Updated 5:10pm to include transcript of letter.



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