The Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter at the University of Texas has cancelled their controversial “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game.”
The game, which was scheduled to take place tomorrow, came under intense nationwide scrutiny as many claimed the game was in poor taste. In the game, several YCT members were going to wear shirts saying “Illegal Immigrant” and walk around campus. Anyone who saw one of the “Illegal Immigrants” was encouraged to grab them and take them to YCT headquarters for a faux deportation. Immigrant catchers would be rewarded with $25 gift certificates to a number of local businesses.
The University of Texas publicly condemned the game, calling it an immature way to promote discussion on America’s illegal immigration debate.
Gregory Vincent, the universities vice president of diversity and community engagement, released a statement yesterday on the cancelled game.
“Such tactics are inflammatory and demeaning,” Vincent wrote. “And once again in trying to be provocative, the YCT is contributing to an environment of exclusion and disrespect among our students, faculty and staff by sending the message that certain students do not belong on our campus.”
The reference to YCT being provocative “once again” is likely referencing a September YCT bake sale in which students were charged different prices for baked goods depending on their race.
Vincent also noted that many UT students are undocumented but are legally allowed to attend the school. Ultimately, Vincent says the game exhibited a lack of respect for all members of the UT community.
“The university also values free speech and our campus continues to be an arena that inspires dialogue from diverse viewpoints,” Vincent said. “However, it is also meant to be a community where students exhibit respect for each other while holding those viewpoints.”
In a comedic counter-message, ethnic activist group Librotraficantes planned to hold a “You’re All Immigrants” game on the same day as YCT’s event. In their version of the game, everyone would be handed signs saying “Illegal Immigrant” and would turn themselves into the YCT “deportation” booth for a self-deportation.
“It's called ‘You're All Immigrants,’” the group’s statement said. “The descendants of illegal pilgrims are encouraged to pick up their 'illegal immigrant' sign and self-deport to the UT Young Conservatives and auto-collect the $25 rewards.”