If you’re on the left side of the media fence these days you need to keep a good backlog of stories ready which target Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Well, it’s either them or the NRA. Kind of a coin-flip, really. This week the Daily Beast goes with choice number one from the menu and calls out ICE for refusing to deport the last living Nazi war criminal in the United States. If you weren’t aware that we still had any of them hanging around you’re probably in good company.
Last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 226,119 people. Jakiw Palij wasn’t one of them.
During the first three months of ICE’s 2018 fiscal year, the agency deported 56,710 people, 46 percent of whom had not been convicted of a crime. This year, ICE expects to deport 209,000 people (PDF). It is highly unlikely that Palij will be among them—even though Palij is a war criminal, the last Nazi war criminal living in the United States.
Palij served as a guard during World War II at the Trawniki forced labor camp, which also trained those participating in “Operation Reinhard,” a plan to exterminate every Jew in German-occupied Poland. He entered the country in 1949 without divulging his past and was later awarded citizenship, of which he was stripped by a federal judge in 2004 and ordered deported.
All you really need to read is those first few paragraphs of the article to capture the essence of it. The message is clear as day. ICE seems to have time to target, detain and deport hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, er… sorry. “Undocumented Americans In Waiting.” Many of them are simply fine, upstanding non-citizens. But the horrible people at ICE can’t be bothered to deport… A NAZI???? (Insert Dramatic Hamster theme music here.)
In reality, you might be tempted to be similarly upset, and the Daily Beast has their facts correct. There’s a fair body of archival news out there about Jakiw Palij. While he supposedly didn’t do any of the killings himself, he was a guard at a labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and thousands of Jews were sent to their deaths there. He snuck into the U.S. by lying about his history and obtained citizenship which was revoked after his true identity was discovered. And he was ordered out of the country.
So what’s Palij still doing here? Does ICE just love Nazis that much? Not so much. The problem is, nobody will take the monster off our hands. The government has been trying for years, but Germany, Ukraine and Poland have all refused to take him. So he lives a free man in Jackson Heights, Queens, existing under a deportation order which can’t be executed. It’s worth pointing out to the Daily Beast, however, that our government failed to deport him under George W. Bush. And they failed for eight straight years under Barack Obama, who deported illegal aliens at clip which Trump would envy at times. It’s not like we haven’t been trying to get rid of this scourge upon humanity, but aside from dropping him over Antarctica with a parachute, what are we supposed to do?
Here’s a thought. Has anyone asked North Korea to take him? Sounds like old Jakiw might be right up their alley.