Nebraska GOPer opposing Dreamer rights uses 'wetback' racial slur in front of fourth grade class
Nebraska state Sen. Bill Kintner (Facebook)

Democrats in the Nebraska Senate said this week that state Sen. Bill Kintner (R) went too far when he used the term "wetback," which is considered to be a racial slur, in front of a class of fourth grade students.


On Wednesday, the Senate debated Legislative Bill 623, which would allow immigrants who came to the U.S. as children -- or Dreamers -- to obtain drivers licenses. Nebraska is the only state that does not currently allow Dreamers to legally drive.

Supporters of the bill claimed to have a solid majority, but Kintner led a filibuster, insisting that he could convince enough lawmakers to vote against the measure, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

According to Net News, Kintner told his colleagues that the bill was part of the liberal takeover of Nebraska.

"The progressives have attempted to take our state and make it like California, make it like New York, make it like all the progressive, leftist states: soft on illegal immigration, driver’s license for illegals," he complained. "Gay rights. Of course Medicaid expansion was a few weeks ago. These are all the things they seek to do to our state to make us like the liberal states, the blue states like California,"

Kintner said that Nebraska was a "significantly better state" because it had not followed California's lead.

But it was his use of a racial slur that had other lawmakers saying that he had crossed the line.

Kintner argued that instead of granting legal status to Dreamers, President Barack Obama should emulate a 1954 crackdown on illegal border crossings that was known as "Operation Wetback."

State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks (D) told the Omaha World-Herald that use of the word was particularly disturbing because a class of fourth graders was sitting in the Senate balcony. She later explained that she considered "wetback" to be in the same category as the N-word.

For his part, Kintner promised not to use the word again during floor debate "to keep the liberals happy."

Supporters of the bill will have a chance to end Kintner's filibuster on Thursday when debate reaches the eight-hour mark.

Listen to the audio below from New News.