A former Nazi SS labor camp guard was deported from his home in Queens, N.Y., to Germany, the White House announced in a statement early Tuesday morning.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents implemented a 2004 deportation order against Jakiw Palij, who immigrated to the United States in 1949 and became a citizen in 1957 after concealing his Nazi background, the statement read.
Palij admitted to Department of Justice officials in 2003 that he trained at a Nazi camp in German-occupied Poland. Court documents indicated that men who trained at the SS Training camp in Trawniki carried out the Nazi regime’s plan to murder Jews in Poland.
The 95-year-old also served as an armed guard at the adjacent Trawniki Labor Camp – where he served an “indispensable role” in the death of roughly 6,000 Jews who were killed in one of the single largest massacres of the Holocaust in 1943, according to the statement.
Palij, who claimed he was working on a farm and in a factory during World War II, had his U.S. citizenship revoked in 2003 by a federal judge, and ordered to be deported a year later. His appeal was denied in 2005.
“Through extensive negotiations, President Trump and his team secured Palij’s deportation to Germany and advanced the United States’ collaborative efforts with a key European ally,” the statement read.
Palij’s deportation process was hindered over Germany’s unwillingness to take him back because he is not a German citizen, ABC News reported.
President Trump tasked U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to ensure Palij’s deportation was on the top of his list when he arrived to Berlin, according to the outlet.
In a special ceremony at the White House on Monday, Trump honored two agencies – Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection – however, as ABC News noted Palij was not mentioned.
Published at Tue, 21 Aug 2018 07:35:00 +0000