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Nov 20, 2013 08:30 AM EST

YCT Calls Off Controversial ‘Illegal Immigrant Game’ Amid Uproar (UPDATE)

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The University of Texas (UT) chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) has cancelled its controversial 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game' amid fear of retribution and protests by campus community that could risk the fate of their volunteers.

The game which was initially planned for Wednesday involves students catching YCT members sporting 'illegal immigrant' pins for $25 in reward. Around 556 students expressed their willingness to attend.

 "....the idea was "over the top" but said students should "not be silenced when they attempt to make their voices heard about an issue that is so important to our futures. I believed that our event would spark this discussion on campus. I hope that the publicity surrounding the event will create debate among students," Group chairman Lorenzo Garcia said, USA Today reports.

Meanwhile, UT officials are content with the news of the cancellation.

"The University of Texas at Austin honors the right of free speech for all students. We welcome the Young Conservatives of Texas' decision to cancel Wednesday's event and look forward to the group being part of a thoughtful campus discussion about immigration," the university said in a statement.

The YCT game attracted criticism from several groups for the atrocious idea. Around 4,100 people planned to attend a counter protest in response to the game and more than 2,800 people signed a petition asking the university to ban YCT from campus.

Ever since the announcement of the incident, Gracias has been receiving letters referring to him as 'Hispanic Uncle Tom.'

"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," said Garcia in a statement. "It is a simple fact that illegal immigration is a concern in this country and that it is one we must face."

Garcia, who is of Hispanic descent, further said that he supports immigration, as long as it is done legally.

"I'm not trying to act like I'm better than someone because I come from a family of legal immigrants," Garcia said. "But I think illegal immigration is a problem and it needs to be dealt with," KXAN reports.

More than 400 undocumented students enrolled at UT. One of them is Rubi Espiricueta who said that the game crossed the line.

"There's people that have died at the border it's not a game," said Espiricueta. "There's people who have risked their lives for a better opportunity."

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