KS GOP Rep. Connie O’Brien Says She Can Tell Who Is ‘Illegal’ Because They Have ‘The Olive Complexion’

From Think Progress:

One week ago, the Kansas House Federal and State Committee held a hearing about in-state tuition being granted to the children of undocumented immigrants, which has been the policy in the state since 2004.

Speaking in favor of repealing the law, Rep. Connie O’Brien (R-KS) began telling an anecdote at the hearing about how her son had difficulty in getting financial assistance to attend college. She explained that she took her son to a financial aid office, and as she was waiting in line, she believed there was a girl waiting in line with them who was “not originally from this country.” Fellow committee member Rep. Sean Gatewood (D-KS) asked O’Brien how she knew this student was “illegal.” O’Brien replied that she knew because the student “wasn’t black, she wasn’t Asian, and she had the olive complexion”:


  1. has this woman never heard of bi-racial marriages? i wonder what she would think of our daughter, who is a beautiful shade of caramel. she was born in honolulu (america) and has a white mom and a filipino dad (did i mention she is gorgeous?) when the daughter stays away from home too long – at college – she gets lighter, almost kind of “olivey” (no worries, just put her in the sun and she browns right up!)
    but just like obama, she was born here in america, and even has a “certificate of live birth” just like obama (and all the other kids who were born here in honolulu, america!)

    1. Even so… she could be “olive colored” because her ancestors were *gasp!* Mexican! It still doesn’t mean she’s not an American!

      A girl in my sister’s class took all the awards in at their high school graduation and took the two scholarships my sister was aiming for. It turns out her family’s immigration status was still in transition. As a result she wasn’t able to receive the scholarship money, and even though she was accepted to some very prestigious schools her family was only able to send her to community college.

      You know what? That’s a damn shame. And it’s not for my poor sister and the other middle class white kids in her class who missed out on the scholarship, it’s for that girl. Because, damn, she earned it! She worked hard for it! She’s a human child with as bright a future as any! I don’t understand this hatred of immigrants that comes from the right (they’ll put alms in the poor box to help establish a mission in the Philippines, but NO! Don’t let any of them live near me!) . They’re people, just like the rest of us, worthy of love, support and the pursuit of happiness. This girl’s family was not undocumented, they were just stuck in the red tape.

    2. Lets see… several years of college, gorgeous, good complexion. Would she happen to be interested in a 27 year old Manager of Infrastructure living in the vicinity of Vancouver, Canada?

  2. I don’t see anyone complaining about Jessica Alba’s luscious, olive skin… but I guess Jessica Alba wasn’t trying to take away a spot in college from O’Brian’s pasty-skinned, under-achieving kid.

  3. In fairness, I generally decide whether someone’s a racist or not just by listening to them talk on the subject for a few minutes. I do admit that, unlike O’Brien, I’m not quite good enough to be able to tell such things just from looking at somebody, but she’s clearly much more astute and observant than I am.

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