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UT Young Conservatives' "Catch An Immigrant" Game Canceled

Marsha Miller
University of Texas

Today: University officials are calling it a victory for all students at the University of Texas at Austin, as the UT chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas has announced it will cancel its "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" game.

Lorenzo Garcia, the chairman of the group, said the reason for the cancelation is that some in the group feared retaliation from university officials if the group held the game, which was scheduled for this Wednesday.

"We stand by our statement that we felt that that is inconsistent with our core values," said Dr. Gregory Vincent, UT vice president of diversity and community engagement. "We felt that it was not consistent with an inclusive campus and that while exercising one of the core values they were doing it to the determent of the other two and we were saying that in the strongest language that we could."

In a statement, Garcia wrote that he acknowledges the decision to include issuing $25 gift cards during the event was misguided and that the idea for the event was intentionally over the top in order to get attention for the subject. He also cited safety concerns for cancelling the event.

"That’s just not correct," Vincent said. "We have a very skilled police force and a very thoughtful and civil student body."

Vincent said the bottom line is the group was not being thought-provoking by crossing the line into offensive.

"We certainly appreciate people expressing unpopular views, expressing views in the marketplace of idea, however these go in my opinion go beyond the line," Vincent said. "And that’s the consistent part of it.  You know, they say they’re being provocative, I would say they are being demeaning."

Vincent said he and other UT officials warned the group they would violating several points of the school’s honor code.

In a statement addressing the group’s game, Attorney General Greg Abbott called the group’s activities "repugnant."

Original Story: A group of students at the University of Texas at Austin campus event called "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" has college administrators and lawmakers alike speaking out against the group.

According to an advertisement, the Young Conservatives of Texas will have several of its members wearing a sign marked "illegal immigrant" and if another student captures that person they will be rewarded a cash prize.

The game already has Dr. Gregory Vincent, UT president of diversity and community engagement, issuing a warning about violating the school's honor code.

It also has lawmakers like San Antonio Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer asking for an apology.

"These types of antics, these what I would like to call these 'whack-a-Mexicans,' this is obviously very childish," Martinez Fischer said. "And what makes it more shameful is you have a Hispanic that leads the Young Conservatives that seems to be lacking in pride and self-awareness."

Martinez Fischer also pointed out that the Young Conservatives Chairman Lorenzo Garcia had served as Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Attorney General Greg Abbott’s campaign field director.

"I hope that Greg Abbott uses his position of authority to admonish that this will not be tolerated in a state whose population is 40 percent Hispanic," Martinez Fischer said.

A population that Abbott needs in the 2014 election.  

In a statement, Garcia wrote:

"The purpose of this event is to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration."

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.