Citing possible retaliation and safety concerns, the University of Texas chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas has canceled its plans to host a controversial “Catch An Illegal Immigrant” event, which was slated to take place today at the Austin-based college.
In a statement, the student group’s chairman, Lorenzo Garcia, said certain aspects of the event were misguided and intended to maximize attention, the Daily Texan reports.
The event had been structured to reward students with $25 gift certificates for catching student-actors walking around campus adorned with “illegal immigrant” signs.
“I acknowledge that 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,” Garcia stated, according to the Daily Texan campus newspaper. “It is a simple fact that illegal immigration is a concern in this country and that it is one we must face.”
“Opponents of YCT have claimed that I am being used as a front man,” Garcia added. “I have been called an ‘Uncle Tom.’ I have received e-mails and comments via social media filled with obscenity. The reactions of some who claim that YCT is creating a demeaning or degrading environment on campus have been truly disgraceful.”