A Las Cruces man says he's had his personalized license plate for 35 years and doesn't believe the saying is a bad word. What do you think?

A New Mexico license plate is going viral for the offensive word that is turning people's heads. A Las Cruces man has the word "WETBACK" on his license, he says for 35 years. KRQE in Albuquerque tracked down the 67 year-old Las Cruces man, Vicente Mendoila.

Mendiola said he came to America from Mexico when he was only 19 years old. When asked why he chose that license plate, Mendiola explained:

“My in-laws started calling me wetback because I know no English at all."

He said he liked the nickname so he decided to get it on his license plate. He applied for the custom license plate back in the early 80's and the license plate was approved. Menial said he doesn't believe the word wetback is a bad word which is why he chose it for his license plate. He says in the entire 35 years he has had the plate, only one person has complained to him about it.

KRQE spoke to the MVD about Mendiola's plate. According to the MVD website, personalized plate requests can be denied if they are derogatory or obscene. The MVD stated that the plate "is clearly derogatory. It should not have been approved for a custom license plate.” When Mendiola requested the plate, the standards weren't as strict as they are now. The plate has continued to be approved for the past 35 years because once it is approved, it doesn't have to be approved again.

The MVD said they are now in the process of recalling Mendiola's license.

KRQE Website
KRQE Website

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