November 16th, 2007 02:24 EST
Nazi police officer living in Chicago ordered deported
CHICAGO - An immigration judge ordered a Chicago resident removed from the United States for his role in a Ukrainian police unit that assisted in the annihilating more than 100,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied L`viv, Poland (now in Ukraine), during World War II. This deportation order resulted from an investigation conducted by the Department of Justice`s Criminal Division Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Federal Immigration Judge Robert Vinikoor ordered Osyp Firishchak, 87, removed to his native Ukraine on the basis of his service in the Nazi-operated Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (UAP) during World War II. Firishchak, was born in Trebuszany in present-day Ukraine, immigrated to the U.S. in 1949, and fraudulently became a U.S. citizen in 1954 by hiding his UAP service.
Judge Vinikoor ruled that Firishchak participated in Nazi-sponsored persecution and acquiesced in "conduct contrary to civilization and human decency" on behalf of the Third Reich. In issuing his five-page ruling, Judge Vinikoor adopted the 2005 findings of a district court that stripped Firishchak of his U.S. citizenship. That court ruled that Firishchak "was a participant in an organization that perpetrated some of the most horrific acts against human decency ever known in history," rejected Firishchak`s "completely unbelievable" testimony, and noted that his "shameless attempt to excuse himself from an inexcusable act is cowardly."
OSI and ICE brought the removal action against Firishchak in March 2007. The government alleged that between October 1941 and July 1944 Firishchak routinely enforced Nazi anti-Jewish policies during his UAP service, participated in actions to reduce the population of the Jewish Ghetto, guarded posts to keep Jews from escaping capture, and hunted Jews who attempted to hide or flee. OSI and ICE also alleged that Firishchak concealed his UAP service when he immigrated to the U.S.
OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum said, "Osyp Firishchak and his fellow UAP policemen played a central role in the murder of more than 100,000 Jewish men, women and children of Nazi-occupied L`viv. This order is another victory for the principle that the United States will not provide a safe haven for human rights violators no matter how long ago the crimes were committed." Rosenbaum noted that the district court found that between March 1942 and June 1943, virtually all of the more than 100,000 Jewish residents of L`viv were seized and transported to Nazi killing centers such as the Belzec extermination camp, or to forced labor camps, where few survived the brutal conditions.
OSI filed a denaturalization lawsuit against Firishchak in December 2003. The district court decision revoking his citizenship was upheld in 2006 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
This removal case is a result of OSI and ICE`s continuing efforts to identify, investigate and take legal action against participants in Nazi crimes of persecution who reside in the United States; it was litigated by Senior Trial Attorneys William H. Kenety and Tina Giffin. Since OSI began operations in 1979, it has won cases against 107 individuals who participated in Nazi crimes of persecution. In addition, attempts by more than 180 individuals implicated in wartime Axis crimes to enter the United States have been prevented as a result of OSI`s "Watch List" program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.
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