June 22nd, 2007 05:41 EST
1995 Genocide, 4 Bosnian Nationals Arrested, Face Deportation
CHICAGO - Four Bosnian men residing in local suburbs were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents Tuesday for concealing their prior service in the Bosnian-Serb military so they could enter the United States as refugees. All four failed to disclose on their immigration applications that they had served in the Bosnian military which was involved in the genocide of thousands of Bosnian Muslims in the former Yugoslavia in 1995.
The four men arrested include: Dalibor Butina, 33; Radovan Jankovic, 61; Vlado Kecojevic, 53; all of Loves Park; and Branislaw Cancar, 47, of Schiller Park. ICE agents arrested the men on immigration charges for fraudulently entering the U.S. as refugees between 1997 and 2004. The four Bosnian men committed immigration fraud by concealing their prior service in these Bosnian-Serb military units when filing immigration applications with the U.S. government. The fraudulent applications enabled the individuals to gain refugee status, which allowed them to enter and reside in the United States.
After entering the United States and receiving refugee status, all four subsequently applied for and received U.S. permanent residence. They have been placed in deportation proceedings. They will be scheduled for hearings before a federal immigration judge who will make the final determination in their cases.
"A top priority of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is to ensure that our nation`s immigration system is not exploited by those who wish to illegally gain refuge in the United States," said Elissa A. Brown, special agent-in-charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "We focus our efforts on those individuals who enter this country under false pretenses, especially those who hide their military past." Brown oversees a six-state area which includes: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin.
Identifying and removing persecutors and human rights violators from the United States is one of ICE`s top enforcement programs. To achieve this goal, ICE created its Human Rights Violators Unit, with a specific mandate to deny safe haven to human rights violators by bringing to bear a full range of investigative techniques and legal authorities to identify, locate, investigate and remove them from the United States. ICE has currently identified more than 800 cases from 85 countries involving suspected human rights violators.
ICE encourages the public to provide any information they may have regarding human rights abusers living in the United States. Nationwide, anonymous tips may be reported at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423).