Texas Young Conservatives Club Cancels 'Catch An Illegal Immigrant' Game

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On Tuesday morning, the president of Texas Young Conservatives released a statement announcing that his group will no longer hold a planned 'Catch An Illegal Immigrant Game' on campus this Wednesday. The game would have asked students to capture other students in t-shirts reading “illegal immigrant” and turn them in for a $25 gift card. When news broke of the event yesterday, outrage poured in from across the campus, state and country. The university denounced the group's event, saying it violated the school's honor code.

TYC President Garcia, a former staffer on the Greg Abbott campaign, said he decided to cancel the event because of concerns “that the university will retaliate against [TYC members] and that the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers.” He acknowledged that “the decision to include issuing $25 gift cards during the event was misguided” and said that “the idea for the event was intentionally over the top in order to get attention for the subject.”

As conservatives who do wrong are wont to do, Garcia played victim to criticisms of his heinous event. He claimed to be “shocked at the uproar over the event's premise” — really? — and that the “reactions of some who claim that YCT is creating a demeaning or degrading environment on campus have been truly disgraceful.” Clearly and unsurprisingly, Garcia and TYC still don't get it. A game which monetizes and degrades the lives of millions has no place on the UT campus on face value and because it inherently promotes a hostile environment. There was no planned violence against the group as Garcia moans about, and the university stopped far short of canceling the event or “retaliating” against members. There was a massive protest planned for Wednesday to drown it out, as happened in 2005.

Read Garcia's full statement below the jump.

“To whom it may concern, I am writing to inform The University of Texas at Austin and the UT community that I have decided, after speaking with my members, to call off the illegal immigration event that the university chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas had planned for Wednesday.

After the University President and the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement released statements denouncing the event we planned as violating the university's honor code, I spoke with our chapter's 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.

I acknowledge that the decision to include issuing $25 gift cards during the eventwas misguided and that the idea for the event was intentionally over the top in order to get attention for the subject. It is a simple fact that illegal immigration is a concern in this country and that it is one we must face. Estimates suggest that around 12 million people are living in the United States without documentation. President Obama wants to address the issue during his final term, and students on college campuses, conservative, liberal, or somewhere in between, should not be silenced when they attempt to make their voices heard about an issue that is so important to our futures.

I have been shocked at the uproar over the event's premise and at the personal attacks against me.  Today, opponents of YCT have claimed that I am being used as a front man. I have been called an “Uncle Tom.” I have received emails and comments via social media filled with obscenity. The reactions of some who claim that YCT is creating a demeaning or degrading environment on campus have been truly disgraceful.

I have always viewed The University of Texas as a place where students could express their opinions – whether or not they were popular. 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. I believed that our event would spark this discussion on campus, and though we will no longer be holding the event, I hope that the publicity surrounding the event will create debate among students.”

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About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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