Naked City

The Hunted Shoot Back

UT students protested an immigrant hunt that may or 
may not have been planned by the Young 
Conservatives of Texas on Texas Independence Day.
UT students protested an "immigrant hunt" that may or may not have been planned by the Young Conservatives of Texas on Texas Independence Day. (Photo By Diana Welch)

Last January, the University of North Texas chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas organized a "Capture an Illegal Immigrant Day," a campuswide game of tag in which "illegal immigrants" (students wearing color-coded shirts – yellow for Asian, brown for Latino/a; you get the idea) were "It." People interested in participating were encouraged to catch an illegal immigrant and get a candy bar as a reward. When word got out that the UT chapter supposedly was planning the same stunt, the wires were abuzz once again (or in the Chronicle's case, our e-mail boxes full) with outraged letters and plans for counterdemonstrations. Although UT's YCT chairman, Lauren Connor, sent out an e-mail stating there were no plans to host an "Immigrant Hunt," and that the YCT was holding a Texas Independence Day celebration instead, we went down to the West Mall to check out the scene. What we found were two red-faced kids behind a table offering chocolate chip cookies and cakes in the shape of Texas, surrounded by about 60 shouting people.

Surrounded by protesters, Conner said, "The YCT does not support bigotry and hatred; we never have and we never will. The event they had in North Texas – the purpose of that event was to voice their opposition to illegal immigration. … We aren't here to talk about North Texas. If you have problems with them, you can take your group up there and talk to them. But I'd appreciate it if you would remove yourselves." (A request that only brought a roar from the crowd).

Lorena Sanchez, an undergrad social work student holding back tears of frustration, tried to explain the crowd's anger to Conner. "Do you understand why we are so angry?" she asked. "You say it's political, you talk about homeland security. But we're not the terrorists. We're not bringing down the buildings. We're putting them up. So, what the hell are you complaining about? We are the ones who are constructing this nation."

And UT's official stance on the matter? President Larry R. Faulkner had this to say, before it was revealed that the YCT backed out (or were simply subject to campus hysteria in reaction to their Denton brethren's actions): "The proposed action by the Young Conservatives of Texas falls within their constitutional right of free expression and must be allowed to proceed, if they so insist. But I also wish to convey my view that it would be nothing more than a despicable display of inhumanity, having nothing to do with the American conservative tradition."

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Naked City

    Enviro group launches Web site opposing Hill Country Development

    Naked City

    GOP attorney says he wants "clarification" of state's campaign finance laws

    Naked City

    Lengthy discussions on dog ordinance have county officials a bit snappish
  • Naked City

    Smoking and toll roads drive the races for jobs that will spend more time on zoning cases

    Naked City

    Lawmaker seeks to keep Texas from becoming national nuclear waste dump

    Naked City

    Algae blooms near development previously cited for construction runoff, but LCRA says growth is normal

    Naked City

    Full-scale privatization resisted

    Naked City

    Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance rolls closer to passage

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Diana Welch
The Real Cost of a Lap Dance?
The Real Cost of a Lap Dance?
Lawsuit cites violation of wage laws at strip clubs

Oct. 29, 2010

Mistrial, Retrial for McKay
Mistrial, Retrial for McKay
Jurors drop bomb on prosecutors' case against man accused of bomb-making

Feb. 6, 2009

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Capture an Illegal Immigrant Day, University of Texas, Lauren Connor, Lorena Sanchez, Larry R. Faulkner

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle