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article imageWisconsin: Top official likens immigrants to 'Satan,' gets fired

By Yukio Strachan     Aug 11, 2013 in Politics
Milwaukee - Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker fired the third highest-ranking official at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Thursday after he referred to undocumented immigrants as "a stream of wretched criminals" he sees as "Satan."
According to the Milkwaukee Journal Sentinel, it all started when Democratic state Rep. Gordon Hintz posted a photo of a sticker (seen here) he found for sale in a local gas station which read, "USA Illegal Immigrant Hunting Permit — No Bag Limit — Tagging Not Required." Hintz expressed his shock at the sticker's sentiment, saying, "Can we not sell these stickers in 2013?"
Wisconsin former Republican Rep. Joe Handrick agreed saying "about 2000 years ago there lived a man who, if he came here, would be considered a foreigner, had olive skin, and didn’t speak English. His name was Jesus,” Handrick said, the newspaper reported.
That's when Steven Krieser, assistant deputy secretary at the state Department of Transportation, jumped in.
"The sticker is probably over the top, and while some people are undoubtedly motivated by racial animus, I think you err in insinuating that opposition to illegal immigration generally is driven primarily by racism," Krieser wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post saved by the Journal Sentinel.
Ironically, Krieser seemed to engage in the very behavior he denied existed in opposition to immigrants. Calling undocumented immigrants, which include young children, a "stream of wretched criminals" crossing our borders unopposed, Krieser ranted that by "marching in the streets in broad daylight, demanding all the benefits of citizenship from a country whose laws they are breaking even as they are standing there. The illegals themselves have bred the animus that many American citizens feel toward them."
"You may see Jesus when you look at them," Krieser added, "I see Satan."
'I see Satan'
When State Representative Josh Zepnick, a Milwaukee Democrat, noticed the post on Thursday morning, August 8th, according to Fox 6, he said he could hardly believe what he was reading.
He called Krieser's comments "over the top, insensitive, inappropriate" and "irresponsible."
“As a legislator I said ‘I hope this guy isn’t on a state-owned computer right now, doing this on state time,'" Zepnick told Fox6. “He shot back right away, ‘no, no, no. I’m on personal leave today, my kid has to go to the doctor.’”
Zepnick saved a copy of the Facebook post before it was deleted. Two hours later, Krieser was fired from his $96,628 a year job, the Journal Sentinel said.
"Governor Walker condemns his views, and they do not represent the governor or his administration in any way," said Walker spokesperson Tom Evenson. "These comments are repugnant, completely unacceptable, and have no place in Governor Walker’s administration.”
“Effective immediately, he has been removed from his position at the Department of Transportation," Evenson said, according to the Journal Sentinel.
In an apology, Krieser told the Wisconsin newspaper he regretted his "poor choice of words," adding, "If I had it to do over, I would not have put it up. I certainly didn't mean any offense."
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