A transportation official appointed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) was fired on Thursday after he said that, looking at undocumented immigrants, he “see[s] Satan.”
Steven Krieser served as the third-highest ranking member in Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation. But it apparently only took Walker’s office two hours to dismiss him from that role after he posted this comment on Facebook:
Then, on top of it all, we get to be treated to the incredible chutzpah of hundreds of thousands of these criminals 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. I see Satan. And if they don’t like it here, hey, the door they came through to get here swings both ways.
Krieser’s remark was in response to another government official, Rep. Gordon Hintz (D), who had posted a picture of an offensive poster reading, “Illegal Immigrant Hunting Permit.” Hintz condemned the photo, “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.”
Republican leadership has struggled to tamp down anti-immigrant sentiment and rhetoric among their party that they fear makes it unpalatable to Latino voters. But language isn’t enough; polls consistently show that Latino voters want the GOP to shepherd comprehensive immigration reform through to completion. And while firing Krieser may remove some of the most virulent anti-immigrant rhetoric from his state government, it doesn’t address Walker’s ambiguous stance on reform.