A top official in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) administration was fired Thursday after posting a rant on Facebook comparing undocumented immigrants to “Satan,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Steven Krieser, assistant deputy secretary in the state’s Department of Transportation, was responding to a photo of bumper stickers reading “USA Illegal Immigrant Hunting Permit” shared by state Rep. Gordon Hintz (D), who condemned their sale at a local gas station. The exchange was archived by the Journal Sentinel.
Krieser admitted that the sticker may have been “over the top.” He then voiced his view that undocumented immigrants “routinely steal the identities of millions of legitimate, actual Americans” and “raid” homes and “trash” land in border states, “breeding the animus that many American citizens feel toward them.”
“You may see Jesus when you look at them. I see Satan,” Krieser wrote. “And if they don’t like it here, hey, the door they came through to get here swings both ways.”
Walker fired Krieser less than two hours after his office learned of the comments, according to the Journal Sentinel.
“These comments are repugnant, completely unacceptable, and have no place in Governor Walker’s administration,” a Walker spokesman told the Journal Sentinel. “Governor Walker condemns his views, and they do not represent the governor or his administration in any way.”
The Journal Sentinel reached Krieser before his firing, and the DOT official apologized for his “poor choice of words” on the post he had already removed.
“If I had it to do over, I would not have put it up. I certainly didn’t mean any offense,” he told the newspaper.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.