A former Nazi guard is not welcome in New York, and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is asking Germany to help the United States deport him.
Jakiw Palij, 94, has been living in the United States since 1949. It wasn't until the early 2000s that his past as a Nazi guard during the Holocaust was exposed.
He was stripped of his American citizenship and a deportation order was issued. But his ouster has been delayed because three countries — Germany, Poland and Ukraine — will not accept him.
The Trump administration wants to deport Palij, who lives in Queens. New York's congressional delegation is united in support of Palij's deportation.
Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is hoping Germany will reconsider. She sent a letter to German Ambassador Peter Wittig urging his government to work with U.S. officials to resolve the issue.
"My constituents have made clear that Mr. Palij is not welcome in our state," she wrote. "They agree that he lost his right to remain here when the brutal past he tried so hard to hide was revealed in an American courtroom. They have no doubt that Mr. Palij must be deported immediately."
She added, "Together, the United States and Germany can show the world that Mr. Palij's crimes have not been forgotten."
Yeshiva students held a rally outside Palij's home in November. New York officials have long pressed the federal government to act and remove Palij from the country.
The Department of Justice said in November that it would push for Palij's deportation. But to remove Palij from the country, he needs to be sent elsewhere. That's why Gillibrand is pressing German officials to change their stance.
"I ask that you do everything in your power to urge your government to work with our State Department to resolve this long-standing issue," she wrote to Wittig.