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Latino Daily News

Monday November 18, 2013

Are Texas Republicans Behind Offensive ‘Catch an Illegal’ Event on UT Campus?

Are Texas Republicans Behind Offensive ‘Catch an Illegal’ Event on UT Campus?

Photo: University of Texas, Austin

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A University of Texas (UT) conservative student group is holding a mock immigration round up whereby someone is rewarded for catching an “illegal” immigrant. 

The Young Conservatives of Texas - UT Chapter are hosting the offensive event on Wednesday.  Students who participate will get $25 gift cards if they catch students who are wearing “illegal immigrant” nametags.  The event is being actively promoted on campus and on the organization’s Facebook page.  The parent organization that routinely supports Republican candidates has not disavowed itself of this chapter event. 

The goal apparently is to spark a discussion about immigration and the impact of illegal immigration.  You would think smart college students could come up with a better teaching tool around the issue of immigration.  Let’s hope that UT’s young conservatives are not suffering from a brain cell deficiency potentially robbing Republicans of the next Ted Cruz or worse robbing the party of great new ideas that are launched at the pace of a centipede.

Lorenzo Garcia, YCT – UT Chapter chairman, assures that the event is not meant to insult or promote prejudice but rather is viewed by their organization as an education tool.  Someone please check his backpack for a white robe, pitchfork or at the very least a dunce’s cap. It has been discovered that Garcia has worked as a field operative for Texas Republican candidates.  This discovery has led some to ask including HSN, “Are some Texas Republicans behind this deplorable idea?”  Their silence is deafening.

YCT alleges to be nonpartisan but does not say anything about its intolerance addiction.  They appear intellectually closed to new ideas and new demographics. 

Its website states “YCT and its members participate in the entire spectrum of Texas politics, attempting to shape the policies of the state of Texas through a number of means including educating students and the public, advocating conservative fiscal and social policies, campus activism, campaigning for political candidates… .”

Tea Party darling Ted Cruz was the organization’s key note speaker at the 33rd Annual State Convention in February.

UT, located in Austin, has a student body of nearly 52,000 students; 20 percent of undergraduates are Latino.  Texas House Bill 1403, passed in 2001, enabled undocumented students, to qualify as Texas residents and pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in the state.  Over 600 undocumented students attend UT at Austin.

UT’s administration does not agree with Garcia and YCT, quickly condemning the attention-seeking event.  Using terms like “inflammatory and demeaning,” they labeled the event as a “degradation of our campus culture.”Image

In September, this same conservative group hosted a bake sale to protest affirmative action in which students were charged different prices for baked goods depending on their race.  This group along with the Longhorn Libertarians and Republicans of Texas fought against a resolution “supporting undocumented students on campus.” 

The resolution passed.

Google+ Author: Estelle Gonzales Walgreen

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