U.S not safe haven for rights violators, says Secretary Myers
[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 August 2008, 16:13 GMT]
The United States Assistant Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in a press briefing at U.S. Foreign Press Center in New York City last week of July said, "far too often we see that individuals who participate in these atrocities come and seek to hide in the United States, lie on their visa applications and try to blend in, in the [American] neighborhoods. Our work is designed to ensure that we identify these people, prosecute them criminally where we can and then remove them from this country, to make sure the United States is not a safe haven for these individuals."
Julie Myers, assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [Photo: AP]
Citing the cases of Argentine army Major Ernesto Barreiro, member of the Croatian Defense Bozo Jozepovic, Bosnian Serb Ratko Maslenjak, the Secretary added that the ICE human rights violations unit has about 1,000 active investigations with about 88 countries, investigating individuals who allegedly committed crimes ranging from genocide to war crimes to severe religious persecution.
Myers said that there are many challenges in tracking down human rights violators who attempt to hide in the United States. The work involves sending U.S. agents abroad to talk to witnesses, many of whom are afraid to come forward and talk to official agents from either the United States or their own governments.
For those violators who become U.S. citizens, there is a process in which they can become "denaturalized" as U.S. citizens. This has been done many times in the past, Myers said, with former members of the World War II Nazi regime.