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Trifa Ordered Deported

A federal judge in Detroit today ordered the deportation of Archbishop Valerian Trifa, head of the Rumanian Orthodox Episcopate in America. He has 60 days to find a country that will accept him.

Judge Belino Dambrosio of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) issued the order after Trifa acknowledged that he was a leader of the Rumanian fascist Iron Guard during World War II and had lied about that association when he applied for admission to the U.S. in July, 1950. The Iron Guard was responsible for the January, 1941 pogrom in Bucharest.

Trifa’s admission brought an abrupt halt to deportation hearings which began in Detroit Monday and were expected to last 4-5 weeks, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed by Neal Sher, deputy director of the Office of Special Investigations of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sher reported that Trifa promised not to appeal the deportation order and that he named Switzerland as his first choice of a country to go to. It is not known whether the Swiss authorities will admit him. Trifo, who became a U.S. citizen on May 13, 1957, voluntarily consented to denaturalization in September 1980 but later appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals which denied it and to the Supreme Court which refused to hear the case.