09/05/2014 04:24 BST | Updated 09/05/2014 04:59 BST

'National Have A Pint With An Immigrant Day'. Yep, It's A Thing

The international students officer for the NUS and immigrant Daniel Stevens is organising a ‘National Have A Pint With An Immigrant Day’.

Stevens, who is from Brazil and studied in the UK at the University of Warwick, is the former president of Warwick Student Union.

The event will take place on the evening of 21 May, the day before the European Elections.

He has set up the event with a group of his friends and they are encouraging everyone to go and enjoy the great British pastime of having a pint of beer (or coffee) with an immigrant.

national have a pint with an immigrant day

The campaign's Facebook page cover

Stevens told HuffPost UK: "The immigration debate has got incredibly toxic recently which is worrying because when you are talking about immigration you are talking about people.

"I think immigrants like myself are feeling increasingly more uncomfortable with the way the debate is being conducted."

He hopes that the event will be a chance to cool the debate down, adding: "The event is an attempt to make it more lighthearted and look at the positives that immigration can bring to local communities."

The reaction so far demonstrates how there is a real connection in the UK with immigrants already, Stevens says. "People have asked me: 'Does first generation immigrants count? Or can I have a pint with my grandfather?'"

And the NUS officer added he hoped UKIP leader Nigel Farage would get involved. "I hope he talks to someone who has been directly impacted by the rhetoric of his election campaign and who feels uncomfortable about how the debate is being conducted.

"Discussing immigration is a legitimate policy point but the way in which [UKIP] discuss it is incredibly dangerous and xenophobic. The way they have conducted themselves is anything but sensitive about this topic."

Stevens wants #HopsNotHate to be trending and hopes that the event will encourage people to vote.

A spokesperson for the NUS said: "The event is in no way associated with the NUS."