“For 60 years, Nazi war criminal Jakiw Palij has been living illegally in the United States. Palij immigrated here under false pretenses. He lied on his citizenship applications and did not disclose his ties to the Nazi regime. Consequently, he was granted American citizenship in 1957. Another monster slipped through the cracks.”
He should be expelled immediately. President Trump has vowed to protect Americans and affirm our values. Jakiw Palij is not a threat to Americans today, but his continuing presence in this country sends a statement. President Trump should send his own statement and not allow this killer to stay one more day in the United States.
“Eject Queens Nazi Jakiw Palij once and for all,” by New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, New York Daily News, July 5, 2017:
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President Trump’s administration has proven itself as good as it gets when it comes to talking the talk about justice. Now my colleagues in Albany and I are beseeching Washington to walk the walk.
For 60 years, Nazi war criminal Jakiw Palij has been living illegally in the United States. Palij immigrated here under false pretenses. He lied on his citizenship applications and did not disclose his ties to the Nazi regime. Consequently, he was granted American citizenship in 1957. Another monster slipped through the cracks.
There are too many cracks. But as the songwriter and singer Leonard Cohen noted, the cracks have their purpose, too — that’s how the light gets in. And the cold light of truth eventually fell upon Palij’s dark history.
In German-occupied Poland, Palij was hired as a guard at the Nazi Trawniki camp. In 1941, Trawniki became an SS training facility and a year later served as a forced-labor camp for thousands of Jews. More than 12,000 Jews were imprisoned at Trawniki as of 1943; their job was to sift through trainloads of clothing seized by the Nazis. And then, during Operation Harvest Festival on November 3, they were all massacred.
Palij failed to include that little item on his resume. Instead, he attempted to pass himself off as a harmless, retired farmer.
History is replete with not only monsters but those who apologize for their actions. After the war, the Catholic Church, the International Red Cross, and even our own U.S. government turned a blind eye to Nazi atrocities when the skills or knowledge of certain Nazi henchmen were found useful. Other Nazis escaped justice because of bureaucracy. Such has been the case with Palij.
While Palij’s citizenship was stripped in the early 2000s, after his Nazi past was finally disclosed, he is still here in New York, still walking around in Queens with impunity because of a technicality. No country wants him, so he’s remained our problem. And that is the furthest thing from justice.
Despite a decade-long campaign by state lawmakers and others to see Palij deported from the United States, previous administrations have shrugged off this problem. Nothing has occurred at the highest level of government. And that’s where the buck is supposed to stop.
Last week, more than 85 members of the New York State Assembly — colleagues of mine from both sides of the aisle — joined with me and Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz of Queens in calling upon Attorney General Jeff Sessions to address this issue once and for all. We insisted that the Justice Department do everything in its power to remove this vile Nazi officer from our great nation….
But over in Queens, Jakiw Palij is laughing. He’s laughing because he has continued to evade justice for longer than most people have been alive. He’s laughing because, despite having been paid by the Nazis to guard undesirables at the Trawniki camp where innocent people were brutalized and then slaughtered, he has watched the United States justice system spin in circles like a child’s fidget spinner.
The rights and freedoms that we enjoy in America should not extend to those who helped facilitate the death of so many innocent people. Palij’s presence here mocks the memory of those who perished. It mocks the U.S. servicemen who fought and died to defeat the evil Nazi regime. It mocks the American justice system….
This Nazi has no right to live here. It’s time for the President of the United States and our State Department to show the world how murderous fiends should be regarded and disposed of. It’s time to take Jakiw Palij, this monster who is beneath contempt and unfit to breathe American air, this heartless barbarian whose presence here tells the world there is no justice, and kick him the hell out of here once and for all.
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