Protesters decrying the Find the Illegal Immigrant game last week that was held at New York University by the universitys student Republican club.
Protesters call immigrant game insensitive, racist
By Lincoln Anderson
Shouting angry slogans and toting protest placards, hundreds of New York University students came out to voice outrage over a game by the universitys student Republican club that lampooned illegal immigration.
In the game, called Find the Illegal Immigrant, members of the Republican club scoured the campus to find a club member wearing an Illegal Immigrant sign. The finder was rewarded with a gift certificate at the colleges bookstore.
We got the event from other universities that have done it. So its really sort of tweaking [it], said Sarah Chambers, 21, president of the N.Y.U. College Republicans. As she stood shivering in the cold on Washington Pl. by the registration table for the game for which 10 students had signed up 300 students across the street circled while shouting their indignation at the event. Obviously, we expected that at N.Y.U., Chambers, from St. Louis, said of the protest.
It is a drain on social services. It contributes to crime, she said of illegal immigrants. Asked if the percentage of illegal immigrants who commit crime is higher than that of the countrys population in general, she didnt immediately have an answer, but just listed other grievances: Now voting rights are proposed
She and another N.Y.U. Republican club member said they support a guest-worker program for illegal immigrants. They said that if their game sparked discussion of the issue, theyd be satisfied.
Around 2 p.m., as the game ended, the protesters marched into Washington Square Park.
Chanting Black, Latino, Arab, Asian, white! No more, no more, this racist stuff! Defend our human rights! they made their way to the fountain. As they ringed the fountains edge, speakers in the middle commended them for sticking up for the people, as one of them put it, who feed us, who clean up after us.
Haley Socha, 21, a history and Slavic studies major, had a couple of I.D. stickers with Illegal Immigrant written on them stuck on her jacket, across which was slung her bicycle messenger bag, with a Vegan patch on its strap. She scoffed at the game as a desperate cry for attention by the colleges vastly outnumbered Republican students.
They do this periodically to try to bring attention to whatever cause theyre promoting, she said. Last year, they had an affirmative action bake sale with different prices for different cookies and who was buying. It would be pathetic if it wasnt so hateful.
John Beckman, the universitys spokesperson, said: At universities, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas even difficult and unpopular ideas is a key mission
. Our inclination is always to support free speech. Just as one group of students will conduct this so-called game, many others will be expressing their objections by protesting it.