Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Walid comments about 'Catch an Illegal Immigrant' event


Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Anti-immigrant event by U-M student group criticized

Gregg Krupa / The Detroit News

Advocates for immigrants on Monday criticized a decision by a
conservative student group at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
to sponsor an event called "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" this week.

The Young Americans for Freedom, a group founded by conservative
commentator William F. Buckley in the early 1960s, announced Monday
that it would hold the event on Thursday.

"The game came up a while ago and we just saw it and thought there
was nothing wrong," said Andrew Boyd, 20, a sophomore from Muskegon
who is chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom. "The point of the
game is not to emphasize anything to do with ethnicity or race. For
us, national security has a lot to do with it."

Not everyone sees it that way.

"The state of Michigan has the dubious distinction of being known as
one of America's most segregated states," said Dawud Walid, executive
director of the Council on American Islamic Relations-Michigan.
"Events such as these do nothing except further tarnish the image of
our great state."

While the group said it would dress up someone "like an illegal
immigrant," Boyd said the person will wear a sign that says, "illegal

Critics say the event is clearly an expression of intolerance, regardless.

"It reminds me of my college days when a Greek society decided to
have a slave auction day," said Noel Saleh, president of the board of
director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social
Services. "This just harkens back to a tremendous insensitivity on
the part of the YAF and people who would support this activity."(MORE)

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