WASHINGTON — The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has dismissed the appeal of John (Ivan) Kalymon of Troy, Mich., who was ordered removed from the United States earlier this year because of his participation in lethal acts of Nazi-sponsored persecution of Jews during World War II. The announcement was made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.
The BIA upheld a Detroit immigration judge's Jan. 31, 2011, decision that Kalymon was removable for shooting Jews while serving voluntarily as an armed member of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (UAP) in German-occupied L'viv, Ukraine.
"We hope upholding this removal order helps bring justice to the families who were victimized by the reprehensible acts that this man committed," said ICE Director Morton. "The U.S. government will work tirelessly to identify and arrest those who have committed crimes against humanity so that they may not seek to gain safe haven in the United States."
"John Kalymon and his Ukrainian Police accomplices were indispensable participants in Nazi Germany's campaign to exterminate the Jews of Europe during World War II," said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. "Their actions ensured that tens of thousands of Jewish men, women and children were murdered on the spot in L'viv or rounded up and shipped to the Nazi death camp in Belzec or Nazi forced labor camps. The Justice Department remains steadfast in our resolve to ensure Holocaust perpetrators are not granted safe haven in this country."
In January 2011, U.S. Immigration Judge Elizabeth Hacker ordered Kalymon removed from the United States. Kalymon, 90, immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1949 and became a U.S. citizen in 1955. In 2004, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Detroit seeking revocation of his U.S. citizenship.
Following the trial, a federal judge granted that request in 2007, finding that Kalymon had participated in the rounding up and shooting of Jews during his voluntary 1941 to 1944 service in the UAP. The judge further found that Kalymon concealed his UAP service when applying for his U.S. immigrant visa. The evidence included a captured Aug. 14, 1942, report, handwritten by Kalymon, in which he informed his UAP superiors that he had personally shot to death one Jew and had wounded another "during the Jewish operation" that day. The evidence also included other reports from Kalymon's commander that Kalymon had fired his weapon during forcible round-ups of Jews, in the course of which Jews were killed and wounded. Judge Hacker ordered Kalymon deported to Germany, Ukraine, Poland or any other country that will admit him.
The BIA reviewed Judge Hacker's decision and ruled that it agreed with the decision that "clear and convincing evidence" proffered by the Government "establishes the facts alleged" in the charging document.
"Ivan Kalymon was an integral part of the Nazi machinery of annihilation that ended the lives of more than 100,000 innocent men, women and children in L'viv," said Eli M. Rosenbaum, director of Human Rights Enforcement Strategy and Policy for the Criminal Division's Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section (HRSP). "This case is one of more than a hundred cases successfully prosecuted by the Department of Justice against wartime Nazi perpetrators, and it reflects the government's continuing commitment to pursuing justice on behalf of the victims of the Holocaust and other human rights crimes."
Identifying, investigating, and removing human rights violators and war criminals from the United States is one of ICE's top priorities. These individuals are alleged to have committed crimes ranging from religious persecution to genocide. The enforcement efforts targeting Kalymon were overseen by ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, in close collaboration with the agency's Human Rights Law Section.
Established in 2009 to further ICE efforts to identify, track and prosecute human rights abusers, the Center leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency's broader enforcement efforts against these offenders — http://www.ice.gov/human-rights-violators-war-crimes-unit. Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to call the ICE tip line at: 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423). Callers may remain anonymous. To learn more about the assistance available to victims in these cases, the public should contact ICE's confidential victim-witness toll-free number at: 1-866-872-4973.
Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 200 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders for and physically removed more than 400 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. ICE is pursuing more than 1,900 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from approximately 95 different countries. These cases are predominantly focused on Central and South America, Haiti, the former Yugoslavia and Africa. They represent cases in various stages of investigation, prosecution or removal proceedings.
The Department of Justice's Criminal Division announced the formation of HRSP on March 30, 2010, as part of the U.S. government's efforts to bring human rights violators to justice and deny those violators safe haven in the United States. The new section represents a merger of the Criminal Division's former Domestic Security Section (DSS) and Office of Special Investigations (OSI).
This case is a result of the Justice Department's ongoing efforts to identify, investigate and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution who reside in the United States. Since the inception of this program in 1979, the department has won cases against 107 individuals who assisted in Nazi persecution. In addition, 180 suspected Axis persecutors who sought to enter the United States have been blocked from doing so as a result of the department's "watchlist" program, enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.
The removal case against Kalymon was litigated by HRSP Senior Trial Attorney William H. Kenety V, with assistance from Frank Ledda, senior chief counsel in the Detroit office of ICE.
Additional information about the Justice Department's human rights enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/hrsp.