Montreal Gazette | Sept. 30, 2002 | Robert Keyserlingk

Purely Immigration and Citizenship Questions

It is remarkable that after all the controversy about our Canadian war-crimes trials (Montreal Gazette Editorial, Sept. 23, 2002, "The war criminals among us"), so many still equate the deportation recommendations by the Federal Court judges automatically with Nazi war crimes. Of course, deport Nazi war criminals. But don't deport those cleared by the judges of this accusation and then call it a victory in the anti-Nazi fight.

By now, we should all know that in most of these cases the judges decided that the accused was not a Nazi war criminal at all; at worst, he was forced to collaborate without criminality. Still, citizenship revocation and deportation can be recommended by the judge on the grounds that the individual might have lied - a tenuous supposition as all the files have long ago been destroyed - upon immigrating to Canada, about such matters as forced co-operation in the German war machine.

It is important to remember that in these cases the individual has been cleared of war crimes. Thus these cases are no longer a matter of deportation of Nazi war criminals; they are purely immigration and citizenship questions and do not deserve to be mixed in with the much more important issue of war crimes.

Robert H. Keyserlingk

� Copyright 2002 Montreal Gazette