I have a number of friends who consider themselves Republicans. But I didn’t in college. I only ran into the Young Republicans at a few social functions, seeing as I was a history major whose main extra-curricular activity was bringing theater to sick and underprivileged children. Apparently, though, I was missing out on some intellectually challenging games.

At NYU, the Young Republicans staged a “Find the Illegal Immigrant” game yesterday. With one club member pretending to be the illegal immigrant, those who signed up got to figure out who she was. Why? “. . . .To be provocative,” explained one member.  I wonder if they would have found it appropriately provocative if the Young Democrats had played “Find the KuKluxKlan member” at a Young Republicans gathering.

My own feelings about immigration don’t toe either party line. My feelings are muddled – sympathetic, angry, you name it and I’ve felt it. I would love to hear intelligent and dispassionate discourse on the subject. I’m pretty sure some college stunt is not the key to providing me (and the rest of the country) an intelligent, informed debate about immigration. And it’s not as though the college students who protested the game were above provocation. The protesters pointed out that the Pilgrims were immigrants too. Wow. As if we can compare our country’s resources 400 years ago to our country’s situation now.

But I digress. I don’t think these kids at NYU care about illuminating the issues surrounding immigration.  I think they care that the entire country is talking about whether they are racist, stupid or calculating. Do you think they will use their newfound fame (or infamy, depending on your point of view) to spark the debate they say the want? Or will they soon be joining campaigns for the 2008 election?

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