Immigration and Race

Here's the transcript of a back and forth between Republican Kansas state legislator Connie O'Brien and a Democratic counterpart (Rep. Sean Gatewood) on a legislative committee discussing the payment of in-state tuition by the children of illegal immigrants.

REP. OBRIEN: My son whos a Kansas resident, born here, raised here, didnt qualify for any financial aid. Yet this girl was going to get financial aid. My son was kinda upset about it because he works and pays for his own schooling and his books and everything and he didnt think that was fair. We didnt ask the girl what nationality she was, we didnt think that was proper. But we could tell by looking at her that she was not originally from this country. [...]REP. GATEWOOD: Can you expand on how you could tell that they were illegal?REP. OBRIEN: Well she wasnt black, she wasnt Asian, and she had the olive complexion.

Where to begin....

Eduardo M. Peñalver is the Allan R. Tessler Dean of the Cornell Law School. The views expressed in the piece are his own, and should not be attributed to Cornell University or Cornell Law School.

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