The University of Texas Austin chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas canceled a controversial “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” event after school officials and students criticized the event, ABC Austin affiliate KVUE reported Tuesday.
Lorenzo Garcia, chairman of the group, said that he and other group members were worried about opposition from the university and students.
“After the University President and the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement released statements denouncing the event we planned as violating the university’s honor code, 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 in a statement obtained by CBS News Houston.
The event, originally planned for Wednesday, would have featured students walking around campus in T-shirts labeled “illegal immigrant.” Students would receive a gift card if they caught the “illegal immigrants” and brought them to the Young Conservatives of Texas on campus.
Garcia apologized for planning to use gift cards at the event.
“I acknowledge that the 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,” he said in the statement.
Garcia used to work for Texas Attorney General and GOP gubernatiorial candidate Greg Abbot, leading to Democratic criticism of the attorney general.
Abbot’s office told CBS News that his “campaign has no affiliation with this repugnant effort.”