Politics

Wisconsin Official Steven Krieser On Immigrants: ‘I See Satan’

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A Wisconsin government official was fired on Thursday after he used his Facebook account to compare undocumented immigrants to the devil. The offensive comparison came about after Rep. Gordon Hintz shared a photo of a bumper sticker that read "USA ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT HUNTING PERMIT." Former state Rep. Joe Handrick criticized the sticker, prompting Wisconsin Department of Transportation assistant deputy Steven Krieser to chime in. Krieser admitted that the sticker was "probably over the top," but he said Handrick was wrong in defending immigrants.

That is when he made the comparison that got him fired, The Huffington Post reported.

"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."

Krieser was fired less than two hours after Gov. Scott Walker’s office was informed of the comments. Tom Evenson, a spokesman for Walker, called the comments "repugnant" and "completely unacceptable."

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"Gov. Walker condemns his views, and they do not represent the governor or his administration in any way," he said.

In 2011, Krieser was involved in a controversy when he issued a memo to DMV state employees asking them not to share information about how to obtain free voter identification cards. According to the memo: “While you should certainly help customers who come in asking for a free ID to check the appropriate box, you should refrain from offering the free version to customers who do not ask for it."

When he was criticized for the memo, Krieser responded, "If the person initiates that direction, then certainly, we will help them. We will not be coy. But we are not going to be selling it at the counter as a free ID."

Before he was let go, Krieser admitted that he had used "a poor choice of words."

"If I had it to do over, I would not have put it up," he said. "I certainly didn't mean any offense."

Sources: The Huffington Post, USA Today