WASHINGTON (Apr. 28)
The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has started fresh deportation proceedings against Andrija Artukovic, the former Croatian Nazi wanted in Yugoslavia on charges of killing thousands of Serbs, Jews and gypsies, but the chances are slim that he ever will be deported.
Artukovic, who lives in Seal Beach, Calif., has been successfully resisting deportation for more than 20 years by claiming he would be politically persecuted if returned to Yugoslavia.
In its latest action, the INS has given him 30 days, till May 25, to justify the continuation of his stay in the United States. However, an INS official acknowledged to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that this is only the beginning step in a deportation process and he can file numerous appeals within INS to prevent deportation and then go to the courts again if he wishes to stay the proceedings. Artukovic is now 76.
The latest INS order has been hailed by Reps. Elizabeth Holtzman (D. NY) and Henry Waxman (D. Calif.) who have been pressing for his deportation along with some 36 other war crimes suspects living in America.