Catch illegal immigrant game played by UT students - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Catch illegal immigrant game played by UT students

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Student protests and demonstrations are nothing new for large schools like the University of Texas in Austin.

Take political passion, throw in a controversial issue, plus the far reach of social media sites and, as student members of the UT chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas discovered, you'll end up with an attention grabbing event.

In this case, a Facebook posting to participate in an on campus game of ' catch an illegal immigrant, get a 25 dollar gift card,' has definitely ruffled feathers.

"It's not funny to us to seem play a game because we as undocumented, we know what reality is," said student Juan Belman. " As immigrants we see families being deported. We see families being torn apart."

The group's statewide executive director did not return our phone call seeking comment.

According to the Austin chapter's Facebook page, several students plan to walk around U-T with the label, 'illegal immigrant,' on their clothes. Any student who 'catches' one will get a gift card. Those involved want to spark a campus wide discussion about immigration, including tuition rates. Mark Jones chairs the Political Science department at Rice University.

"Governor Perry, over a dozen years ago, signed the instate tuition bill for undocumented immigrants and continues to support that legislature," Jones said. "These are Texans, who through no fault of their own, came to the country at a very young age and its simply the right thing to do. As Governor Perry said, 'if you don't support it, then you probably don't have a heart'."

Politics aside, safety is also a concern. There is now a second Facebook page for people upset about the 'immigrant catching' invitation and a growing number of activists who are now planning a trip to Austin.

Late Monday, the group posted details of their plan of protest, which include flooding the campus with people wearing t- shirts that say 'undocumented immigrant.'

"We still don't know yet if students are going to take it too far," said Cesar Espinosa, executive director of Fiel in Houston. "What's really going to happen? We support them having freedom of speech. We just do not like the fact its spreading hate into our community."

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