FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- A former Nazi concentration camp guard who has lived quietly in the eastern U.S. for more than 50 years took his fight against deportation to the nation's highest immigration court Thursday, arguing he shouldn't be punished because he served in Hitler's army against his will.
The Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church heard the appeal from 88-year-old Anton Geiser of Sharon, Penn., who acknowledges serving in the Nazi SS as a guard in the Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald concentration camps. A federal judge ordered him deported in 2010.
But his lawyer argued the court should have considered Geiser was forced to join the SS against his will as a 17-year-old.
Government lawyers argued to uphold the deportation. They said federal law places former Nazis in a harsher immigration category, and no exceptions should be made because of compulsory service.
Geiser, who was recently hospitalized, did not attend Thursday's hearing. He came to the U.S. in 1956 and was naturalized in 1962. He lived in Sharon, about 75 miles north of Pittsburgh, where he worked in a steel mill for decades and raised five children.
-- The Associated Press