BIA Does the Right Thing – Let's Hope America Publicizes It

By David North on April 9, 2011

The Board of Immigration Appeals did the right thing on April 8 – and I hope governmental publicists let the Muslim world know about it.

They probably won't, partially because the Congress may be shutting down the government, and partially because foreign policy writers rarely pay attention to immigration issues, both unfortunate situations.

Here's what happened: a Bosnian Serb police officer, whose initials are D- R-, had secured refugee and then green card status in the United States. The government said that his application for refugee status had left out a key fact – that during the Bosnian War he had been an officer of MUP in the Republic of Srpska's Army.

MUP is the Ministry of Interior's police force, and Republic of Srpska (or Republika Srpska) was and is the Serbian political entity, within Bosnia, that was responsible for several massacres of Muslims (which the BIA, politely, calls "extrajudicial killings".)

An immigration judge had ruled that the omission of the MUP identification was significant and he ordered D- R- removed (i.e., deported). The former Serb cop appealed, and the BIA ruled that the IJ was right, and that the policeman should be deprived of his green card status, and sent back to Bosnia-Herzegovina. See the full text of the decision here.

The decision sounds appropriate – we don't want people who engaged in racial cleansing living in this country, but it also sounds like something that the State Department should be publicizing, for it shows how this largely Christian nation stood up for the Bosnian Muslims when neither Europe nor the Arab nations lifted a finger on their behalf. A little later we took, alone, a similar position vis-a-vis the residents of Kosovo, another Muslim population.

It has always galled me that the U.S. did not get much credit for these interventions in the Middle East, an intervention in which we, a largely Christian nation, went to bat for a powerless Muslim minority, against another Christian nation, Serbia. This was the air war which the U.S. conducted successfully without a single American casualty, a remarkable achievement.

The Kosovo War is now history, but the decision to remove D- R- should be top news for Voice of America broadcasts reaching Muslim populations. I hope someone in VOA will come to the same conclusion.