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Nazi War Criminals Bill Approved

The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill in the fight to denaturalize and deport alleged Nazi war criminals. The bill, introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D.NY) now goes to the floor for full House action. The legislation would make former Nazi war criminals subject to deportation if they entered the U.S. under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. It would also prevent the future entry of war criminals.

Currently, alleged war criminals are subject to deportation if they entered the U.S. under special refugee legislation in effect after World War II–either the Displaced Persons Act of 1948 or the Refugee Relief Act of 1953. Most of the recent legal action against alleged Nazi war criminals has been taken under these two provisions. But the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act has no such provision to deport persons if they have engaged in persecution because of race, religion, nationality or political opinion. The Holtzman bill applies to these persons as well as to war criminals.

The bill also removes the “stay of deportation” provision from the 1952 act. Under this provision, a person charged with persecution has been able to avoid deportation by an immigration judge if he claims he would receive an unfair trial or otherwise might be put in danger in the country to which he is deported.

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