Trump Admin. Refuses Deport Nazi War Criminal Living In New York
The Trump administration is refusing to deport Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi concentration camp guard who is living out his life in Queens, New York.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency deported 226,119 people in 2017. Of that number, 56,710 had not been convicted of a crime.
Palij, now 94 years old, was a guard during World War II at the Trawniki concentration camp in Poland, notes The Daily Beast.
Palij came to the U.S. in 1949 without revealing his bloody Nazi past, and was later awarded citizenship.
However, a federal judge removed Palij’s citizenship and in 2004 ordered Palij deported.
Palij is still in the U.S. because other countries do not want him, and the Trump administration has kowtowed to their refusal.
Eli Rosenbaum, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), explained the situation to The Daily Beast:
Unfortunately, the governments of Germany, Ukraine and Poland have declined to admit Palij and no other nation has agreed to accept him.
Palij was called by The Daily Beast for a comment, but hung up:
Who is this? Forget it, forget it, forget it.
Jonathan Drimmer, a former federal prosecutor who worked under Rosenbaum at OSI, tracked Palij down in 2001:
It was like puncturing a balloon.When I said, “I’m Jonathan Drimmer from the Department of Justice, I’m here to talk to you about your wartime service,” you could see all the air just go out of him.
Palij signed an affidavit confirming his Nazi past, but unfortunately Nazi war criminals can’t be prosecuted in the U.S. under the War Crimes Act because their crimes were committed overseas.
Efraim Zuroff, a former OSI researcher and current director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, told The Daily Beast that changes to Germany’s prosecution policy means Palij won’t face charges there:
They’ve done a pretty good job the last few years in pursuing individuals for Nazi atrocities who were found in Germany.
What they have not done a good job of is taking guys like Jakiw Palij, who were found outside of Germany, but are every bit as culpable, if not more culpable, than the individuals found inside Germany’s borders.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind has called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take Palij into custody as an illegal alien and put him in detention, where so many non-criminal Hispanics sit, but the ex-Nazi continues to enjoy his freedom.
Trump’s ICE and State Department declined to comment.