Democrats criticize Kansas lawmaker’s comments about ‘olive complexion’ = ‘illegal’
Democrats on Monday called on a Leavenworth County lawmaker to apologize for comments she made last week at a hearing on legislation to repeal a law granting in-state tuition to children of illegal immigrants.
Rep. Connie O’Brien, a Tonganoxie Republican, was speaking in favor of rescinding the law when she recounted a story about a student she saw while enrolling her son at Kansas City Kansas Community College last year.
The female student was in line to pick up scholarship money but couldn’t provide a driver’s license or other government ID to the clerk, O’Brien recalled. Yet the woman said she had driven to the college that day.
“We could tell by looking at her that she was not originally from this country,” O’Brien said.
Another lawmaker asked O’Brien how she could tell the woman wasn’t a legal citizen.
O’Brien replied: “Well, she wasn’t black, she wasn’t Asian and she had the olive complexion.”
O’Brien wouldn’t say whether she plans to apologize. She said she has received 10 to 15 e-mails.
“I’m not going to talk about that until I’ve had time to think,” she said Monday.