In the middle of a not so cold February day, New York University’s Young Republicans Club stirred controversy with its “Find the Illegal Immigrant" game. Club President Sarah Chambers says the game isn't racist and that the club merely wants to spark a debate among students on illegal immigration.

The rules of the game are as follows:

1. Only identified NYU students are allowed to “play.”

2. NYU students- who played INS agents for the day- can search the “illegal immigrant” when caught.

3. The first to find a club member wearing an “Illegal Immigrant” tag wins a gift certificate.

We caught up with Daneris Rodriguez, a junior at NYU, who joined about 300 protesters at the Greenwich Village campus.

"I was definitely offended when I first heard of the game. It is cruel to make a game about catching immigrants when everyday there are many who are crossing the borders to reach a better life and are getting killed in the pursue of such a goal," says Rodriguez. "Such events should not be taken lightly. I understand their views and points, and they have the right to their own opinions. Nonetheless, the way they went about it was wrong. They did not have to come up with a game to express their opinions."

Rodriguez, who is a native New Yorker and of Dominican descent, said this wasn't the first time the Republican club at NYU exercised its first amendment rights.

"My spring semester of freshman year they came up with a bake sale where the prices were based on people's races. This was their way of protesting against affirmative action," she says. "[Many students of color were aware of the game days before]. I saw many faces who were involved in the protest. Others, on the other hand, did not go to the protest because they believed that was what the club wanted all along."

For a university that’s known for its visual arts department and liberal ways, this game came as a shocker. We could expect something like this from a small town in the Midwest, but from NYU?

At least they didn’t point out random folks in the street – which was what I originally thought the game was about based on its name. After all the fuss and offending an entire city, I wonder what was the grand prize for “finding the illegal immigrant”. *ms


Protester sings a re-make of "I Shot the Sheriff" with lyrics of his own: "I am a foreigner, but I didn't break a single law."