It took 15 years to finally get this passed by Congress (420-0), but that was only after the Associated Press published an investigation that revealed:
“..dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards who collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments after being forced out of the United States.”Only New York Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney had lobbied to change that law- for a good 15 years- believing it was "a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars."
Social Security benefits end if someone is deported because they participated in Nazi persecutions, according to the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax legislation.
However, the committee said, Nazi suspects could continue to get benefits if the Justice Department found them to be denaturalized, or stripped of their citizenship. They also continue collecting if they voluntarily renounced their citizenship and left the country to avoid formal deportation proceedings.
The AP found at least 38 of 66 suspects “removed from the United States kept their Social Security benefits.”
“The alleged Nazi criminals left the U.S. voluntarily,” Justice spokesman Peter Carr told McClatchy. “And in no case did the Justice Department advocate on any alleged Nazi criminal’s behalf so that the defendant could retain retirement benefits or agree not to seek any legally available means to revoke the benefits.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who’s been trying to remedy the situation for at least 15 years, hoped the AP report would finally help get people’s attention.
“This is certainly a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars,” she wrote this fall to the Justice Department and the Social Security Administration seeking an investigation.
It wasn't until after the AP report that change was set in motion.
Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Leonard Lance, R-N.J., joined Maloney to introduce legislation declaring Nazi war criminals ineligible for federal benefits. Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate.It was way back during Bill Clinton's reign in the 1990s that the issue first came to light, but nothing was done.
Congress tried to get involved, but its effort went nowhere. AP reported the Justice Department was reluctant to support any legislation.
It's unconscionable that we have people in this country in dire need of help, and we've been sending money to Nazi criminals abroad, for years.
Source: The State