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US immigration court orders ex-Nazi guard deported to Austria

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Tuesday that the Philadelphia Immigration Court [official website] has ordered the deportation [press release] of former SS guard Anton Geiser to Austria for serving as an armed guard at the Sachsenhausen and the Buchenwald concentration camps during World War II. Geiser, who has been living in southwestern Pennsylvania since 1960, admitted to the allegations in the charging document. The court found that Geiser is removable under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act [text] because a visa may not be granted to anyone who was involved in persecutions based on race, religion, or national origin. Assistant US Attorney General Lanny Breuer [official profile] said, "[a]s a Nazi concentration camp guard during World War II, Anton Geiser must be held to account for his role in the persecution of countless men, women and children. The long passage of time will not diminish our resolve to deny refuge to such individuals." Geiser is currently not in custody and can appeal his case to the Board of Immigration Appeals [official website] in Washington, DC.

In 2008, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit revoked [JURIST report] Geiser's US citizenship because he had obtained it illegally. The DOJ alleged [complaint] that the US government mistakenly granted him a visa in 1956 and then citizenship in 1962 without knowledge of his affiliation with the Nazi regime. In 2006, a district court judge ordered the revocation [opinion, PDF] of Geiser's citizenship, writing that it was legally necessary [8 USC s. 1451] because the citizenship was based on a visa he was ineligible to receive [Refugee Relief Act of 1953 s. 14]. The DOJ's Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) [official website] handles cases, including Geiser's, aimed at denaturalizing or deporting former Nazis who participated in wartime persecutions.

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