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2/22 New York, NY: Report from NYU Counter College Republicans’ “Find the Illegal Immigrant” event
Released 22 February 2007  By NYC Independent Media Center

2/22 New York, NY: Report from NYU Counter College Republicans’ “Find the Illegal Immigrant” event

First Dispatches From the “Front”

February 22, 2007 NYC Independent Media Center

See the Video at Youtube:

Today I joined hundreds of other NYU students, their allies, and NYU INC contributers to protest the College Republicans’ “Find the Illegal Immigrant” event. After three days of non-stop organizing and outreach, the coalition of student organizations who mobilized this morning was truly a sight to behold.

Uniting behind a single issue is often difficult, particularly on such a dis-jointed campus as NYU, but the turn out and support today was enormous and overwhelming.
Thank you to everyone who showed up and sang, screamed, engaged in debate, and talked to the media. Thank you for not backing down, sticking to your guns, and refocusing this event to the real issues at hand — government policies, racist stereotyping, the human cost of the immigration debate, and factual realities.
In the next few days the ‘INC will feature first hand testimonials, reflections, articles, photographs/ videos, and commentary on this event. Additionally, information on subsequent organizing meetings to continue to put pressure on and engage the Republicans will be made available.

Si Se Puede !

Related Articles

'Find the Illegal Immigrant'
College Republicans' event today incites protest from student groups

Nick Brennan - NYU News

A contest called "Find the Illegal Immigrant" - a mock hunt for a student posing as just that - is being met with widespread protest on campus and receiving local and national media coverage.

The event, sponsored by NYU's College Republicans, is planned for today in Washington Square Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The student posing as the illegal immigrant will wear a name tag saying so. Other students will try to find him or her, playing the part of border patrol agents and wearing nametags that say "INS," referring to the former Immigration and Naturalization Service.

College Republicans president and CAS junior Sarah Chambers said the contest is intended to bring attention to the issue of illegal immigration. The hunt is also designed to draw people to a table the group plans to set up in the south side of the Silver Center, Chambers said.

"The event will open up both vocally and physically the issue of illegal immigration," she said. "That it's not right to come here illegally while others are waiting to come here legally and receive free health care and jobs that undercut wages of American workers and people that are living here legally."

The contest's premise has caused an uproar on campus. Student groups - including the ACLU at NYU, the College Democrats and several multicultural clubs - have organized a protest that they expect will draw hundreds of students.

College Democrats president and CAS senior Nora Toiv called the event ignorant and dehumanizing.

"The event is offensive because by playing a game like this, you make light of a real-life situation," Toiv said. "To ridicule what is often a very traumatic experience is hateful."

Chambers refuted accusations of racism and said that the event is bringing debate to the issue.

"We are raising awareness here," Chambers said. "People from around the country have been e-mailing me both positively and negatively, but the fact remains that everytime the American public is polled, immigration ranks among the top three issues of concern, so we're not too far-fetched in our stance here."

"The goal here is to get people talking about it," she added.

Toiv said the College Democrats' largest objection to the event is in the way it has been presented.

"It's the issues they address and the way they address them that seem to always be targeting fellow students and staff at NYU. It's hateful," Toiv said. "Why can't you talk about something that doesn't personally attack several students?"

"Having tolerance for immigration is not a partisan issue," she added.

Protesters from the various other groups will be carrying signs and handing out pamphlets stating "No one is illegal" and calling the event "completely unacceptable."

Toiv said she wants the protest to be peaceful and is pushing for a silent protest.

"We're hoping for a peaceful protest that displays our disgust with the event," Toiv said. "If we come out looking crazier than the Republicans do, then we will have failed. But if the protest can go off peacefully, it will be a victory for us."

In light of the event, TV vans and national news stations swarmed onto NYU's campus yesterday. Many local stations reported live in front of the Kimmel Center, while the story made headlines nationwide, including coverage on CNN, Fox News, NPR and talk radio.

While the College Republicans anticipated the large response from the NYU community, Chambers said she had no idea the event would create this much of a reaction from outside the university.

"The media response was much larger then I expected - the NYU response was not," she said.

In interviews yesterday, several students voiced concern about the event.

CAS junior Zach Lane said he wishes it hadn't gotten so much coverage.

"I think it's better not to give them any attention," he said.

- additional reporting by Shira Rubin

NYU Students to Protest 'Illegal Immigrant' Game

NEW YORK (AP) -- In what it says is an attempt to get students to debate the issue of illegal immigration, a student Republican club at New York University has dreamed up a novel game that has some on campus calling the event "racist.''

In the game called "Find the Illegal Immmigrant,'' members of the club who present their NYU identification become immigration agents looking for an illegal in the crowd. The agent who successfully identifies the illegal immigrant wins a gift certificate.

Students have sent club officials e-mails calling the the event "racist'' and "disgusting.'' But the club said it is about stoking debate on the issue of illegal immigrants.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, students will protest the game during an event at Washington Place and Washington Square East.

"It's not a racist event, first and foremost,'' said Sarah Chambers, the 21-year-old president of the College Republicans.

"Just because we don't want illegal immigrants being able to completely disregard the laws of our country doesn't make us racist.''

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