A conservative student group at the University of Texas at Austin planned an event Wednesday in which participants could demean undocumented immigrants by chasing volunteers holding signs saying “illegal immigrant” and turning them in to the organizers in exchange for a $25 gift card. Boy are these students kicking themselves now.

The Young Conservatives of Texas, perhaps realizing how ill-conceived their little game was, canceled the event but not quite in the nick of time. The Huffington Post reports:

The backlash against the aborted immigration round up game was so strong, however, that instead U.T.-Austin hosted a pro-immigration reform rally. Some 500 students, including undocumented immigrants, attended the rally against the game at the Texas university, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Actress America Ferrera, of “Ugly Betty” fame, lent some star power to the event.

“I was greatly disappointed to learn that a student group on this campus had planned to hold a disturbing and demeaning game based on bigotry and hate,” Ferrera said, according to the Express-News.

Ferrera, the child of Honduran immigrants, is a co-chair of Voto Latino’s “I’m Ready for Immigration Reform” campaign.

Next time a Texas group wants to put on a racist show, perhaps it should consider the fact that Latinos are consistently proving to be a key demographic in elections. And maybe also take a history lesson or two to recall that the Lone Star State was once part of Mexico.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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