CHICAGO (CN) - Removal proceedings can continue against a naturalized citizen who belonged to a Nazi-sympathizing organization during World War II, the 7th Circuit ruled.
Osyp Firishchak filed for a visa in 1949 under the Displaced Persons Act, which was enacted to give victims of Nazi oppression permanent resident status in the U.S.
On his application, Firishchak claimed that he had worked on a Ukrainian cooperative from 1941 to 1944. In reality, Firishchak had served in the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, an organization that forcibly rounded up Jews for deportation to concentration camps. The organization was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Jews who resisted or tried to flee.
"The UAP's members, playing their part in a particularly infamous round-up of Jews known as the 'Great Operation,' shot and killed Jews who resisted, fled, or attempted to hide," the 7th Circuit decision, released Monday, states.
Though Firishchak continues to deny his involvement with the UAP, "considerable evidence indicated that he was lying, and the District Court made unvarnished findings to that effect," Circuit Judge Joel Flaum wrote for the court's three-judge panel.
The lie made Firishchak ineligible for residency under the Displaced Persons Act, and the District Court cancelled his citizenship, which required five lawful years as a resident.
Firishchak unsuccessfully challenged the revocation of his citizenship and then appealed the removal proceedings against him, claiming he had been denied a fair trial.
Finding his claims meritless, the three-judge panel dismissed the challenge.
"The bookends of Osyp Firishchak's life have involved deportation, on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean, on different sides of the process, and by profoundly different means," Flaum wrote.
Firishchak will be removed to Ukraine.