Students to host 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant' game on campus
AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 19: The University of Texas Tower on the University of Texas campus on September 19, 2009 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
November 18th, 2013
03:01 PM ET
12 months ago

Students to host 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant' game on campus

Updated 5:37 p.m. ET, 11/18/2013

(CNN) - A conservative student group at the University of Texas in Austin is organizing an event Wednesday called "Catch an Illegal Immigrant," where participants will be rewarded with $25 gift cards for "catching" students wearing "Illegal Immigrant" labels.

According to the group, the Young Conservatives of Texas-UT chapter, the purpose of the event is "to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration, and how it affects our everyday lives."

If stirring something up was their goal, they've certainly met expectations.

National Democrats and immigration reform advocates quickly seized on the event, with some noting on Twitter that Lorenzo Garcia, the chairman of the student group, works for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who's running for governor next year.

Matt Hirsch, a spokesman for Abbott's campaign, however said Garcia does not currently work for the campaign. He used to work as a paid field representative and left the campaign more than two months ago.

"Our campaign has no affiliation with this repugnant effort. Illegal immigration and the failed policies of the Obama Administration are not a joking matter," Avdiel Huerta, Abbott's campaign press secretary said in an official statement.

Garcia's LinkedIn account also shows he interned at the Texas State Capitol and for Sen. Ted Cruz's 2012 campaign. He did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

He told the Houston Chronicle that the event is supposed to get people talking.

"If we held a forum or a public debate no one would show up," Garcia said. "But if we have an event like this it gets people talking about and if it gets people talking about it then we've succeeded."

He added that they're "not afraid to be politically incorrect. We don't espouse to the belief that politics is immune to offending someone."

Bill Powers, president of UT Austin, said in a statement the event is " completely out of line" with the school's values. He invited the group to join in on the immigration discussion but "to find more productive and respectful ways to do so that do not demean their fellow students."

The event comes as the federal government grapples with immigration reform. While the Senate passed comprehensive legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants, the bill appears to have no future in the House.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Silence DoGood

    I think that conservative groups that say "keep government out of my personal life" should start by setting a good example and staying out of people's personal lives.

    You'll recognize the "catchers". They will be in brown-shirts.

    November 18, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    ""If we held a forum or a public debate no one would show up,"

    What does that freekin tell you?

    "But if we have an event like this it gets people talking about and if it gets people talking about it then we've succeeded."

    Yeah, talking about what a ridiculously bigoted, racist party the GOP/Teatrolls are and how horrifying their policies are with respect to immigration. Yup, there truly is no better way to spark conversation than doing something extremely publicly insulting towards immigrants and their communities. Please proceed....

    November 18, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. Marcus (from...?)

    I wish I could be there, along with a couple of my friends, to see how the "Illegal Immigrant" label looks like, then I'd made hundreds of copies and distribute it (with a little help of my friends...) to everybody on sight!

    November 18, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "not afraid to be politically incorrect. We don't espouse to the belief that politics is immune to offending someone."

    Riiiiiight....and when their little event is correctly labeled as bigoted and racist, watch how fast their tamper tantrum starts over how "offended" they are at being called out for their nonsense. And no, sorry, but it being led by a dude with a Hispanic name is not a get out of jail free card.

    November 18, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. just saying

    rs
    Record high arrests and deportations under the Obama Administration.
    --

    i have already debunked this lie with the very numbers that sniffy provided. I guess you missed it. your blather is just more of the usual obama supporter lies, smoke and mirrors.

    --

    Deportations (actual removals per fiscal year):
    2000 – 188,000
    2001 – 189,000
    2002 – 165,000
    2003 – 211,000
    2004 – 241,000
    2005 – 246,000
    2006 – 281,000
    2007 – 319,000
    2008 – 360,000
    2009 – 393,000
    2010 – 385,000
    2011 – 392,000

    in eight years under george bush, deportations went from 188,000/year to 360,000/year. a 91.4% increase in deportation.

    in three years under obama, deportations have gone from 393,000/year to 392,000/year. a very small decrease in deportation.

    the lies of the left are easily proven lies. the numbers were provided by sniffit.

    November 18, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    Good. I'm glad they are not afraid to offend people. Now, when can I schedule my next " Burn the Bible " event? After all, we should not be afraid to offend people. Oh damn, it conflicts with my plans to hold an anti-gun rally at the next funeral of a WW2 vet.

    This is the level of sense and sensibility the modern conservative has. All about fostering outrage, but precious little about offering any solutions.

    November 18, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. emskadittle

    i guess its all a joke to the republcians

    November 18, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. John from Texas

    Gads, are these folks so stupid that they don't see the problem with such a game?? Once again, the folks against immigration reform show themselves as racist, even if they, themselves, are Hispanic.
    Amazing!

    November 18, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Texas... nuff said!

    November 18, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    I'm sure the GOP will highlight this student group's actions as part of their outreach to the Hispanic community ... (Democratic political ad-makers, please feel free to use my idea).

    November 18, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Hector Slagg

    Eh,
    Freedom of Speech is a terrible thing, isn't it?

    November 18, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "If stirring something up was their goal, they've certainly met expectations."

    Oh indeed. CNN is never against stirring the pot itself.

    Meeting expectations, though? I know. Let's ask Reince Preibus how that rebranding effort he proudly touts as a major accomplishment of his is paying off for the Grand Old Party.

    November 18, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @just saying: Your stats are wrong. Go to the Department of Homeland Security website and see the graphs for yourself. Pay particular attention to the graph "FY2008-2012 ICE Removals by Highest ICE Priority."

    BTW, in FY 2012, ICE removed 409,849 individuals (emphasizing the deportation of "criminal aliens to protect public safety, and 96% of these removals fell into one of ICE's enforcement priorities, a record high.

    Source: US Immigration Enforcement
    Year Number Deported
    2012 409,849
    2011 396,000
    2010 400,000
    2009 387,000
    2008 358,000
    2007 318,000
    2006 280,000
    2005 245,000
    2004 240,000
    2003 210,000
    2002 165,000
    2001 186,000
    2000 185,000
    1999 175,000

    November 18, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Tigas

    US Code 8 Section 1325...

    US Law blatantly broken and ignored.

    Follow the law, deport. Problem solved.

    November 18, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Ed

    This "game" is utterly offensive and insulting. And inaccurate. To make it more realistic, the person labeled "illegal immigrant," once caught, should be given the $25 gift card. And a driver's license. And food stamps. And, in my neighborhood, anyway, a bunch of roosters that wake up every neighbor for a two block radius at quarter to four every morning and that are illegal to own in an urban environment unless it would be politically incorrect and "racist" for Animal Control to enforce the law. And free housing. And priority seating at the emergency room when they have the sniffles. And bilingual public schooling so everyone suffers and no one learns. Now that, that right there, that'd be a game we could all get behind, right folks?

    November 18, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "paid field representative" for Abbott's campaign."

    "interned at Texas State Capitol for Sen. Ted Cruz's 2012 campaign"

    That's all you need to know. Set up by the Republican Tea Party and their suppressive agendas.
    The drum beat gets louder.

    November 18, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    rs
    Record high arrests and deportations under the Obama Administration.
    -

    i have already debunked this lie with the very numbers that sniffy provided. I guess you missed it. your blather is just more of the usual obama supporter lies, smoke and mirrors.

    -

    Deportations (actual removals per fiscal year):
    2000 – 188,000
    2001 – 189,000
    2002 – 165,000
    2003 – 211,000
    2004 – 241,000
    2005 – 246,000
    2006 – 281,000
    2007 – 319,000
    2008 – 360,000
    2009 – 393,000
    2010 – 385,000
    2011 – 392,000

    in eight years under george bush, deportations went from 188,000/year to 360,000/year. a 91.4% increase in deportation.

    in three years under obama, deportations have gone from 393,000/year to 392,000/year. a very small decrease in deportation.

    the lies of the left are easily proven lies. the numbers were provided by sniffit.
    *******************
    Unless I miss my guess the numbers are still record numbers. Thanks for making our work easier, dimwit.

    November 18, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein

    I guess these people don't understand what is going on in the country. There are better and worse ways to work on the immigration issue. This happens to be an awful way to bring up the issue.

    November 18, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    @Hector Slagg "Freedom of Speech is a terrible thing, isn't it?"

    Actually I think it is GREAT that these Young Conservatives acted on the first thing that came into their pee brains with no filter or thought to the consequences. Now they have alienated a lot of the country from their cause. Liberals need more conservatives just like this.

    November 18, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Everytime I hear the right wing demanding that we have an illegal roundup, lock 'em up, I am reminded of Hitler's SS rounding up Jews. I sure would like to know how the right wing would actually implement such a draconian scheme. I'd hate to see it in action, but I'd love to hear them explain it away as freedom fighting.

    November 18, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -Hector Slagg

    Eh,
    Freedom of Speech is a terrible thing, isn't it?
    *************************
    Only when coupled with a lack of responsibility and an unwillingness to grapple with the consequences of ones' actions. Sadly, that seems to be the hallmark of conservatives now.

    November 18, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "in three years under obama, deportations have gone from 393,000/year to 392,000/year. a very small decrease in deportation.

    the lies of the left are easily proven lies. the numbers were provided by sniffit."

    God, you're stupid. Guess how many deportations congress provides funding for. Guess. Yes, that's right...400,000. Obama has broken the records. That's NOT a lie. What is a lie is your accusation that he refuses to enforce our immigration laws, which would have produced a decrease in deportations. Instead, the numbers show he is doing so at a record-setting pace, increasing the effort beyond what it was under Dubya and coming extremely close to perfect in light of the fact that his administration is provided funding for only 400,000 per year (392,000-393,000 means he's running at about 98% efficiency). Thanks for playing, Jethro.

    November 18, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "in FY 2012, ICE removed 409,849 individuals "

    Indeed. 9,849 more than Congress provided funding for. And yet, we still have to listen to their abject nonsense about "he refuses to enforce our laws."

    November 18, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |