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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

CAN WE GET RID OF THIS GUY ALREADY?

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Not everyone deserves to be in America. Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk has managed to evade justice for two decades. He finally had his US citizenship stripped and was about to be deported this week and now his removal has been stayed again by the courts. Why? Because Demjanjuk is arguing that being deported to Germany at this late stage in his life is akin to torture. Oh, please.

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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Kevin said that Idi Amin's Uganda could be repeated here. If dont deal severely with ex-Nazis we could end up having Uganda here!
  2. KD's Avatar
    They will find this guy useful if the "Guild" wants to repeat Uganda
  3. Deb's Avatar
    This guy was able to stall his deportation for long and argue his case repeatedly all the way to the Supreme Court. Immigrants who are otherwise law abiding have been thrown out for lesser offenses, poor health notwithstanding. This guy is an accessory to genocide. Now his excuse is poor and failing health? Says enough about the justice system.
  4. Another voice's Avatar
    Well I guess just as long as the immigration courts do not mind delaying deportations for other immigrants on the same legal basis of "torture". If they do it for this guy clearly a person with terrible moral character, what about other people???
  5. Jenda's Avatar
    Hey, if having a nurse present at a Gitmo interrogation can be torture to human rights groups that generally seem distinctly unconcerned by offenses against human rights caused by national liberation types, why not this? But seriously, when everything is torture, nothing is. Terms like torture and Nazi have been so overused by so many who should know better, including lawyers, when terms like abuse or authoritarian would do that reasonable and necessary distinctions are lost.
    How have Demjanjuk's claims managed to be continued since they really got going under the Reagan Administration? His lawyer, whatever we think of his cause, is a smart operator, I'm sure.
  6. Andrij's Avatar
    "Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk has managed to evade justice for two decades."

    In 1977, John Demjanjuk was formally charged with having lied on his application for citizenship, after during the course of other investigations, Holocaust survivors "identified" him as the "Ivan Grozny," a.k.a. the infamous "Ivan the Terrible" of Treblinka, who operated the diesel engines sending gas to the death chamber. Demjanjuk was stripped of his citizenship and in 1986 was deported to Israel to stand trial before a special tribunal. Throughout the trial, numerous Holocaust survivors testified to "Ivan the Terrible's" atrocities, and swore that the man in front of them was Ivan Grozny. In early 1988, the tribunal found Demjanjuk guilty of all charges and sentenced him to death by hanging. Demjanjuk maintained that he was being mistaken for another person and appealed. During the course of his appeals, one of his lawyers "committed suicide" by "jumping off the roof of his hotel." Another was sprayed in the face with disfiguring acid.

    In the summer 1993, five Israeli Supreme Court judges overturned the guilty verdict on appeal. After Demjanjuk's acquittal, new accusations were leveled against Demjanjuk, alleging to him be yet another guard at yet another Nazi death camp. Both the Israeli Attorney General as well as the Israeli Supreme Court decided to release Demjanjuk rather than to pursue charges because of both the unlikelihood that Demjanjuk could be convicted of these new charges as well the fact that Demjanjuk was extradited from the United States specifically to stand trial for offenses attributed to Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka, and not for other alternative charges.

    In 1993, the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Demjanjuk was a victim of prosecutorial misconduct, as US federal prosecutors had deliberately withheld contradictory evidence, and his US citizenship was restored.
  7. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Andrij - I'm not sure what your point is. Demjanjuk lucked out by being accused of the wrong crime. He managed to evade prison (or death) by virtue of this good fortune. But it has still been more than a decade since the actual crime was determined by the courts and each step of the case has taken years to resolve. This is probably the longest deportation case in American history.
  8. JoeF's Avatar
    Andrij,

    German authorities apparently have looked at the new evidence, and have decided that the evidence warrants a new trial.
    This is completely independent of what the Israeli Attorney General decided.
  9. Andrij's Avatar
    "This is probably the longest deportation case in American history."

    According to Michael P. Scharf, Professor of Law and Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, the prosecution of John Demjanjuk over the years represents "the longest, most convoluted extradition and deportation ever, bar none."


    "Andrij - I'm not sure what your point is."

    You stated that "Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk has managed to evade justice for two decades. He finally had his US citizenship stripped..." I pointed out that there is about years of legal history that you have omitted. Notably, that he already had his citizenship stripped over 25 years ago. Also, he was sentenced and remained on Death Row for 5 years. That contradicts the statements "has managed to evade justice" and "FINALLY had his US citizenship stripped" [emphasis added].


    "He managed to evade prison (or death) by virtue of this good fortune."

    I find it hard to believe that this man has lived a life of good fortune. John Demjanjuk was born in Revolutionary Ukraine just as Soviet forces were consolidating their control after years of bloodshed, including failed bids at Ukrainian independence and periods of foreign occupation. His childhood was spent surviving the Holodomor, a forced genocidal famine Stalin ordered to subjugate the Ukrainian people to his rule; between 1932-33, several million perished throughout the country as grain was seized under penalty of death. When the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi Germany, a teenaged Demjanjuk was conscripted into the new Soviet Army and sent to fight the invading forces. By the age of 22, numerous accounts have him being captured by Nazi forces and held as a POW.

    After choosing a new life in America, John worked as a self-employed laborer for years and managed to provide a home for his family, before being accused of crimes against humanity, stripped of his citizenship and sentenced to death in a foreign country.

    Sounds like the luckiest guy in the world...
  10. Abraam's Avatar
    Greg Siskind wrote - "Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk..".

    May I ask you which court brought in a verdict of guilty? If there were any evidence that he killed Jews, why did the Israeli authorities let him go?

    Germans have to bring their own to trial first, instead of creating an illusion of justice by executing a guard. Have all the Germans who were killing Jews during the WW II been executed already? Join Simon Wiesenthal Center is trying to save it's reputation which has badly suffered after the defeat from the Israel Supreme Court regardless of either Demjanjuk is guilty or not.
  11. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    He did not have his citizenship stopped and get ordered deported on a whim.
  12. Andrij's Avatar
    "He did not have his citizenship stopped and get ordered deported on a whim."

    Is the implication that the dismissal of charges by the Israeli Supreme Court and the reinstatement of his citizenship was done on a whim? Your statement that "Demjanjuk lucked out" seems to dismiss the legal arguments against his incarceration.
  13. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Andrij - Your logic assumes that a person found innocent of one crime is never guilty of another. The findings of the US Department of Justice after Demjanjuk returned to the US have conveniently been ignored.
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