On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that an elderly Nazi veteran, who has been residing in Queens, New York, has been deported from the United States and sent to Germany.
Jakiw Palij, 95, is believed to be the last surviving Nazi guard who was living in the United States. For years, activists have been calling for his deportation, but foreign governments continually balked at requests from the United States. Palij was born in an area of Poland that is now part of Ukraine. He served as a guard at the Trawniki concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, according to records. At least 12,000 Jews were murdered at the labor camp.
President Trump and his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, made the extradition case a top priority, stressing its importance repeatedly with the German government, which finally agreed to accept the Nazi guard.
Former Nazi camp guard Jakiw Palij's arrival in Germany ends a 14-year effort to remove him from the U.S. We are grateful for the assistance and support of the German government, including Ministers Maas and Seehofer, for making his removal possible. https://t.co/y5ZFqAU5ae
— US-Botschaft Berlin (@usbotschaft) August 21, 2018
President @realDonaldTrump's instructions were clear and his leadership crucial to getting a former Nazi guard deported from the U.S. Our President is focused on protecting the promise of freedom and the rule of law. https://t.co/h9cs99kwkX
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 21, 2018
But according to some on the Left, The Trump administration’s successful deportation of a Nazi war criminal is nothing more than a publicity stunt. The Washington Post claimed that it was all an act in order to score political points.
— John Wagner (@WPJohnWagner) August 21, 2018
Jezebel claimed that deporting the Nazi guard was a mere ploy to enhance the reputation of ICE.
— Jezebel (@Jezebel) August 21, 2018
In criticizing the move, Joe Bernstein, a writer for the far-left BuzzFeed, described ICE as a “xenophobic goon squad,” while failing to note that over 50 percent of U.S. Border Patrol agents are Hispanic.
My father denaturalized and deported Nazis for a living and he didn't need a xenophobic goon squad to do it. The men and women of OSI would be disgusted by using deportations as a political stunt https://t.co/BsXM7t9uFs https://t.co/19zV76zZjY
— Joe Bernstein (@Bernstein) August 21, 2018
The U.S. campaign to label and deport Nazis would not have been possible without the efforts of Eli Rosenbaum, a longtime Department of Justice official who has successfully prosecuted over 100 Nazis who later moved to the United States. Rosenbaum’s personal efforts to track down Nazis was recognized Tuesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “The United States will never be a safe haven for those who have participated in atrocities, war crimes, and human rights abuses,” Sessions added.