Harvard Group Rescinds Invitation to Anti-Immigrant Speaker

October 16, 2009

A Harvard University student group has rescinded an invitation to Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, to speak at a forum this weekend on immigration, The Boston Globe reported. Minuteman is a staunch opponent of immigration and sends patrols to the Mexican border to try to block people from coming to the United States. A previous appearance by Gilchrist at Harvard led to protests. The student organization organizing the forum on immigration, the Undergraduate Legal Committee, released a statement that said: “Mr. Gilchrist’s participation in the conference on the behalf of the Minutemen Project was not compatible with providing an environment for civil, educational, and productive discourse on immigration, and we cannot host him at this time.’’ Gilchrist denounced the revocation of the invitation. On his organization's Web site, he issued this statement: “[T]he minute they received threats from fellow students these pre-law students shied away from defending free speech. That future graduates of the most renowned university in the world are literally afraid to support the very cornerstone of the foundation of our nation, namely ‘free speech,’ ought to frighten anyone looking to America as the beacon of liberty, freedom, and justice for all."

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