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  We wish the Americans had just deported him back to Germany in the first instance. But now he's here. He's our problem, and the solution to this problem is put him on a plane, send him back to Germany, right now. That's where he belongs. -- Joseph Ben-Ami of B'nai Brith Canada, a Jewish lobby group
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Toronto, Thursday, February 19, 2003

Zündel seeks asylum after U.S. deportation

Now 'he's our problem'

Mary Vallis National Post, with files from The Canadian Press Thursday, February 20, 2003

HOLOCAUST denier Ernst Zündel has been deported to Canada and is applying for refugee status after being arrested in Tennessee.

The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service turned Mr. Zündel over to Canadian authorities at the border in Fort Erie, Ont., yesterday afternoon.

Mark Weber, a colleague who has testified during Mr. Zündel's myriad court hearings, said the German-born man is seeking political asylum in Canada.

"We wish the Americans had just deported him back to Germany in the first instance," Joseph Ben-Ami of B'nai Brith Canada, a Jewish lobby group, said yesterday.

"But now he's here. He's our problem, and the solution to this problem is put him on a plane, send him back to Germany, right now. That's where he belongs."

Mr. Zündel moved to Canada from Germany in 1958, and became a permanent resident. Canada repeatedly refused to grant him citizenship, prompting him to move to the United States in 2001. He married a U.S. citizen who runs his anti-Semitic Web site.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal later found him guilty of promoting hate on his Web site; it remained on the site after the ruling. Mr. Weber said officials from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have already requested an interview with Mr. Zündel about the ruling.

Mr. Zündel was arrested on Feb. 5 for allegedly overstaying a visa and missing a scheduled immigration hearing in May, 2001.

"Ernst Zündel is, if anything, very punctilious and careful about following laws and regulations," Mr. Weber, director of the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review, said from his office in California.

"This is clearly a targeted matter. There are millions of illegal aliens living in this country, many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who are here on overstayed visas who are not deported. He's married to an American citizen. That he should be treated this way is just astonishing."

The INS returned Mr. Zündel to Canada under a Canada-U.S. agreement that stipulates each country take back individuals who enter from each other's countries. It is unclear whether Mr. Zündel's permanent residency status still stands.

Mr. Zündel's family is happy he was not deported to Germany, Mr. Weber said, in part because that country has much stricter laws governing the spread of hate literature than Canada.

He was charged with a raft of crimes during a visit to Munich in 1991, including offending the memory of the dead, public incitement and possession of illegal Nazi symbols. He was fined about $30,000, but the amount was later reduced on appeal.

A spokesman for Immigration Canada refused to comment on Mr. Zündel's specific case, but said case workers generally determine whether someone who applies for refugee status is eligible for a Immigration and Refugee Board hearing within three business days.

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a claim is ineligible if the applicant is determined to be inadmissible on grounds of security, violating human or international rights or serious criminality. B'nai Brith Canada says CSIS has deemed Mr. Zündel a security risk to the public, partly because of his links to extremist right wing groups.

Regardless of whether Mr. Zündel is eligible for a refugee hearing, his case will likely drag on, said Sergio Karas, a Toronto immigration lawyer.

"He could potentially become a burden to Canada and a burden to our legal system for years to come," he said. "I'm sure he's got lawyers lined up and all his Nazi friends who are going to pay for his legal expenses.... I am sure that he has a plan." Denis Coderre, the Immigration Minister, yesterday issued a veiled threat to people trying to make a "mockery" of Canada's entry system.

"I'm totally dedicated to make sure that the legitimate people who are seeking our generosity will be facilitated. But ... those who are trying the system and who give a bad reputation to our system should be careful."


Zündel seeking refugee status
Ernst Zündel held in Batavia, N.Y., detention center
Wife fears key could soon be thrown away
Zündel headed back to Canada
Arrest of Ernst Zündel by US: Is held in Jail
Reknowned Neo-Nazi activist held in Blount County jail
Feb 2001: Ernst Zuendel has emigrated from Canada to the United States
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