The Young Conservatives of Texas, University of Texas chapter, set the Internet ablaze Monday when it was revealed that they were planning a "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" event.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the game was set up to be played with five volunteers spread out wearing tags that read "illegal immigrant." Then if a student spotted them, they could flash their ID card and say "Border Patrol" and take them back for a $25 Visa gift card.
According to the chairman of the group, it was meant to open up discussion about illegal immigration.
"The purpose of this event is to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration, and how it affects our everyday lives," said Lorenzo Garcia, YCT chairman of the UT chapter, in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
"If we held a forum or a public debate no one would show up," Garcia told the Chronicle. "But if we have an event like this it gets people talking about it, and if it gets people talking about it then we've succeeded."
"We’re not afraid to be politically incorrect. We don’t espouse to the belief that politics is immune to offending someone," he added
According to the AP, the Texas Democratic party slammed the game. Adding fuel to the fire, it was discovered that Garcia was recently a paid staffer with Republican Greg Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign. Abbot has been backed into a corner by the Democratic party to clearly state his thoughts on the Texas DREAM Act, which permits children illegally brought into the U.S. by their parents to receive in-state tuition. So far, he has remained silent, but could be now forced to speak up.
Abbot’s press secretary did tell the AP that the "campaign has no affiliation with this repugnant effort." However that is not enough to protect him from the coming attacks.
"While Abbott has said he doesn’t support the DREAM Act as it is, he refuses to say what he would change and if he supports it at all," state Democratic chairman Gilberto Hinojosa told the AP. "He must come out and immediately denounce Wednesday’s event. This style of hatred and fear is not the type of leadership Texas deserves."
However, Garcia is not perturbed or concerned about any potential protestors.
"Sticks and stones," he told the Chronicle. "We’re not going to let anything like that stop us."
However, the stakes have now been raised. The University of Texas soon released a statement denouncing the actions of the YCT, sending out a subtle threat.
"If the members of YCT carry out their plan for 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant,' they are willfully ignoring the honor code and contributing to the degradation of our campus culture. And once again, they will have resorted to exercising one of the university’s core values to the detriment of others. Such actions are counterproductive to true dialogue on our campus, and it is unrepresentative of the ideals toward which our community strives," the school’s statement read.
As the AP notes, students who violate the university honor code risk expulsion.