Student conservatives at the University of Austin at Texas today canceled their planned "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game," where students were to run around campus wearing "Illegal Immigrant" signs, the Austin American-Statesman reports. In the game, which was to be held tomorrow, members of the Young Conservatives for Texas would have tried to capture the "illegals" in exchange for a $25 gift card. "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 YCT chapter chair Lorenzo Garcia yesterday.
But then campus officials threatened to kick YCT members off campus, and the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Greg Abbott—who had Garcia as a staffer—dismissed the game as a "repugnant effort." In the aftermath of all that and more, "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," said Garcia in a statement, per the Houston Chronicle. He notes he has been "shocked" at the reaction (which has included him being labeled an "Uncle Tom") and described the game as "intentionally over the top in order to get attention for the subject." He expressed hope that "the publicity surrounding the event will create debate among students."