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Former Bosnian-Serbian Army Officer Lied To Get Immigration Benefits

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Deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deported a Bosnian national living in Chicago who had served as an officer during the Bosnian conflict of the 1990s.

Jovo Asentic, a sixty-five-year-old man was ordered to be removed on January 28, 2016 by a federal immigration judge after it was found that he purposefully did not disclose service in the Army of Republika Srpska (i.e., the Bosnian Serb Army) during the Bosnian conflict which was from 1992-1995.

Asentic was interviewed under oath in 2006 by ICE officials.  Presented with additional, new, evidence, Asentic admitted to his role in the Zvornik Brigade from 1992 through 1996.

The evidence officials had found indicated quick promotion through the ranks, from private to acting captain due to his reliability as an officer.  They also found evidence displaying that in July 1995, Asentic’s unit, which he was on duty with at the time, blocked escape routes during the Srebrenica genocide.  This genocide left approximately eight thousand Bosnian Muslim men and boys killed.

The deliberate misrepresentation by Asentic during the immigration purpose was found to be “particularly serious” by the judge.  The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the judge’s decision.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit also upheld the decision.

Investigation of this case was through ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Chicago, ICE’s Office of Chief Counsel in Chicago, and ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center.  The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, established in 2009, was made for the purpose of prosecuting human rights abusers in the United States.  Suspects known to have committed war crimes, genocide, torture, female genital mutilation, and the recruitment of child soldiers are located and identified through HRVWCC.

More than 395 people were arrested by ICE since 2003 for human rights violations.

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