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US Nets Bosnian Serbs

Former soldiers arrested in the US for immigration violations.
By Lisa Clifford
US federal agents arrested 19 Bosnian Serbs in cities across the country, accusing them of lying on their immigration forms by failing to disclose their service in the Bosnian Serb army.



Though none have been charged with war crimes, investigators allege that the men were once soldiers in the army’s Bratunac and Zvornik Brigades, which captured the town of Srebrenica where 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were slaughtered.



Agents from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security moved in on the Bosnian Serb immigrants in Milwaukee, Tampa, St Petersburg, Orlando, Detroit, Chicago and Denver.



They have been charged with lying about the extent of their military service when entering the US as refugees and could be deported or imprisoned if convicted.



Many of the men arrested this week have settled comfortably in the US, holding down jobs and buying houses. Most professed their innocence.



Srebrenica suspects living in the US have been arrested for immigration violations in the past and dozens are already facing deportation. One former member of the Bratunac Brigade living in Arizona who lied on his visa application was sent back to Bosnia in May.



Lisa Clifford is an IWPR editor.

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