Students from Rambam Mesivta-Maimonides High School protest outside the home of Jakiw Palij in New York, U.S., April 24, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind has called on US President Donald Trump to take action to deport Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi concentration camp guard living in the country.
Although a US judge ordered Palij deported in 2004, after finding him guilty of being an SS guard during World War II at the forced labor camp Trawniki in Poland, he still resides in Queens, New York.
“I’ve been reaching out to high-level members of the Trump administration
,” said Hikind, the son of Holocaust survivors. “The rights and freedoms we enjoy in America should not extend to those who facilitated the death of countless innocent people. I will never rest while a Nazi lives comfortably in our country.”
Efforts to remove the former Nazi guard have been ongoing for several years. Many protests have taken place outside Palij’s home, and several petitions have been signed.
Last month, Hikind and his colleague Michael Simanowitz led 85 members of the New York State Assembly, including Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle, in urging US Attorney- General Jeff Sessions to remove him.
In addition, Democratic New York representatives Joseph Crowley also wrote to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the matter.
“The attorney-general has not replied, the State Department has not replied,” Hikind said in a statement. “In Queens, Jakiw Palij is laughing. He’s laughing because he has continued to evade justice for longer than most people have been alive. He’s laughing because despite having been paid by the Nazis to murder undesirables at the Trawniki camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, he has watched the United States justice system spin in circles.”
Describing Palij as a “monster who is beneath contempt and unfit to breathe American air,” Hikind said that the former guard’s presence in New York mocks the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.
“It mocks the US servicemen who fought and died to defeat the evil Nazi regime,” Hikind said. “It mocks the American justice system. It’s time for the buck to stop. It’s time for our president to show the world how murderous fiends should be regarded and disposed of.”
Hiking stated that he is “confident” that Trump wants to “do the right thing and has the means to do so.”