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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2001
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
CRM
(202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888

ACCUSED WORLD WAR II NAZI CRIMINAL BLOCKED IN CANADA
FROM ENTERING THE UNITED STATES


WASHINGTON, DC The Department of Justice announced today that U.S. immigration inspectors at Dorval International Airport in Montreal, Canada, prevented accused Nazi criminal Joseph (Juozas) Kisielaitis from boarding a Florida-bound commercial airline flight this morning.

At 6:42 am, a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) inspector who was performing routine pre-flight screening of would-be travelers to the United States stopped Kisielatis when his name was found in the U.S. Government's inter-agency border control "watchlist" database, where it had been placed in 1984 at the behest of the Criminal Division's Office of Special Investigations (OSI). OSI had previously instituted deportation proceedings against Kisielaitis, a naturalized Canadian citizen born in Lithuania, charging that he took part in Nazi crimes of persecution during the Second World War. After INS authorities questioned Kisielatis and consulted with OSI this morning, they prevented him from boarding Air Canada flight 928, which was bound for Fort Lauderdale.

OSI discovered Kisielaitis living in Worcester, Massachusetts some twenty years ago and commenced deportation proceedings against him in Boston in 1984. However, Kisielaitis fled to Canada later that year, before the deportation case could be heard by the court, and he now lives in LaSalle, Quebec. During earlier questioning by OSI, he had admitted wartime service in the infamous 2nd/12th Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft Battalion, a Nazi-sponsored unit that murdered thousands of Jewish men, women, and children, suspected communists and their families, as well as Soviet POWs, in mass shootings in both Lithuania and what is now Belarus. Members of the Battalion rounded up victims, marched them to execution pits, and participated in their shooting. A recent 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision affirming a deportation order against another member of the same battalion noted that during October 1941, the Battalion took part "in a series of killing missions in which they executed over 11,000 men, women and children."

Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, who heads the Justice Department's Criminal Division, stated, "Our heightened vigilance at the U.S.-Canadian border is an essential component of the Government's multifaceted efforts to ensure that individuals who must be prevented from entering the United States are identified in time to block their entry."

OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum added, "Men like Juozas Kisielaitis helped ensure that those whom the Nazi regime targeted for extermination met that horrible fate. Our efforts to identify, remove and exclude such persons from this country remain undiminished."

Rosenbaum said that today's interdiction was the result of OSI's ongoing efforts, in partnership with INS and the Department of State, to prevent former participants in Nazi and Japanese persecution from entering the United States. Kisielaitis is the 163rd suspected Axis criminal stopped during attempted entry to the United States since OSI began compiling statistics on this aspect of its work in 1989.

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02-083


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