- Good Morning from the Zundelsite:
- Just now I returned from our 15 minute Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals hearing, and as soon as I am a bit rested, I will have
to get my brain in gear and sort things out as to its meaning and write
it up accordingly. Let me just say that we did not have a hostile panel,
and some good things were being said (and learned) which will be useful
in the future - as we intend to soldier on.
- Before we went, I had summarized for my attorneys what
I felt was the core of our case, and to save myself some time and again
document for our archives the progression of this case, I am going to use
that summary for today's Zgram:
- The facts in this case are ridiculously simple and straightforward.
- They hinge on a faulty "visa waiver overstay"
claim by US Immigration (now part of Homeland Security) - and two mysteriously
missing letters from the Zundel Immigration files.
- The Zundels are a couple in their mid-sixties, caught
up in what current Patriot Act jargon calls a "rendition" - a
brutal arrest of a "terrorist suspect" based not on what a person
may have done or even planned, but on a flimsy legal irregularity such
as a minor immigration violation.
- Van Dinh, an attorney who helped draft the Patriot Act,
explained such arrests in an interview with Wired News, a publication concerned
with the preservation of Freedom of Speech in America:
- "It may well be that a number of citizens were not
charged with terrorism-related crimes, but they NEED NOT BE. Where the
department has suspected people of terrorism it will prosecute those persons
for OTHER violations of law, rather than wait for a terrorist conspiracy
to fully develop and risk the potential that that conspiracy will be missed."
- For irresponsible people in power with little oversight,
that is wide enough net to catch one's "enemies" one needs, to
score a political point, to advance a political career, perhaps to get
a hefty grant - or to settle a private political agenda!
- For a family caught in such a phony, politically motivated
arrest, it is a nightmare crying out for judicial redress.
- In an interview write-up with Attorney Van Dinh, Wired
News cites 5,000 such arrests that have happened since 9/11- the Department
of Justice admits to 500. Ernst Zundel has been one!
- Ernst and Ingrid Zundel are known as an articulate, historically
well-versed, politically incorrect couple. Both are first-generation immigrants
of German ancestry. As children, both experienced World War II in all of
its harshest brutalities. Both experienced years of hunger and cold
during and after World War II, appalling want of the barest necessities,
very little formal education. Both came to Canada when they were very
young - Ernst as a 19-year-old, Ingrid in her early twenties. They did
not know each other then, although their World War II experiences were
very similar, as were their ethnic and religious backgrounds.
- Both have been lifelong pacifists.
- In the 1960s, Ingrid moved to Kansas and then to California.
Only in her mid-thirties did she have a chance to acquire formal schooling,
culminating in doctorate in education. Over time, she became an award-winning
ethnic novelist and celebrated keynote speaker, addressing huge audiences
at national conventions about her experiences as a young child in war-torn
Germany - telling a story of hardship and suffering from the German point
- Ernst lived in Canada for more than 40 years. He, too,
became a renown, award-winning artist who owned a lucrative graphic arts
studio. World War II history was his passionate hobby - which over the
years morphed into an all-consuming need to "set the record straight"
about politically suppressed history, as seen from his parents' generation
point of view. This made him, over time, quite controversial and somewhat
of a household name in Canada because he challenged certain widely held
beliefs about what really happened during World War II in Germany in concentration
camps such as Auschwitz. His views led to several high profile political
- Despite their unorthodox views, both Ernst and Ingrid
were considered model first-generation immigrants. On the American Continent
where they lived all of their adult lives, neither one has a criminal
- Ernst and Ingrid met in September 1994 at a historical
Revisionist conference. They married on January 19, 2000 as both were
approaching retirement age. They looked for a place to settle down after
a lifetime of struggle - and found it, so they thought, in the tranquility
of rural Tennessee.
- Ingrid was a U.S. citizen, Ernst still a German national,
although he lived in Canada for more than 40 years.
- German nationals from Europe usually enter the United
States under what is known as a "visa waiver" tourist permit,
valid for only three months - and quite restricted as to legal recourse
if challenged. A tourist facing deportation, for whatever reason, is
generally not entitled to appeal.
- Canadian nationals and permanent residents, on the other
hand, commonly enter the U.Ss via what is known as a B-1/B-2 permit, valid
for 180 days. Overstays are not normally a concern and hardly ever enforced,
since many retired people living in Canada spend their winters in Florida
and return at their leisure in the spring.
- Furthermore, in general, how Canadian nationals or permanent
residents cross the border to the United States from Southern Ontario depends
on where they cross.
- If they come to the US by plane, a B-1/B-2 stamp in their
passports is required. If, on the other hand, they cross in Niagara Falls
in a car with Canadian or US licence plates, they are habitually waved
through without a visa or a passport check because there is a steady stream
of cars at these bridge crossings - visitors from the US to Canada as tourists,
Canadians who hop across the border to Buffalo to shop for items that are
cheaper on the U.S. side, such as, for instance, gasoline and cigarettes.
Crossings via car, without visa checks of any kind between two friendly
countries, are the rule rather than the exception. Whether or not a passport
is checked or stamped when crossing by car is at the discretion of the
border guards and usually depends on how heavy the traffic flow is on any
- As a German national with a high activist profile but
politically incorrect view, and as a man who was meticulously careful not
to offend in any way, Ernst always made sure he had a 3-month "visa
waiver" permit in his passport as a precaution, whether he needed
it or not. Most of the time he did not need it, since he habitually traveled
- Ernst crossed at Niagara Falls on March 12, 2000 for
a few hours only - merely to renew this "visa waiver" permit.
He did not stay; he immediately returned to Toronto.
- The last time he came to the United States - this time
to stay - was on May 21, 2000 by car.
- May 21, 2000 was entered on his Immigration application
as the last date when Ernst left Canada to take up residence with Ingrid.
- He had his "visa waiver" permit lying on his
seat, but it was never checked by busy border guards who simply waved him
through. He therefore crossed like a regular B-1/B-2 Canadian resident
- NOT as a "visa waiver" visitor as Immigration claims. He
has hotel and gas station receipts to prove it.
- With the help of a well-known immigration attorney, Ernst's
application for "Adjustment of Status based on marriage" papers
were formally filed and accepted as legitimate and proper by Memphis Immigration
on October 4, 2000. On that date, the couple was advised by Immigration
in a written communiqué that there would be a waiting period of
36 months - and that no status report would be given in the interim.
- Shortly thereafter, as a result of his filing, Ernst
received an American social security number, a work permit, and a document
called "advanced parole" which permitted him to re-enter the
United States, should he decide to travel. Immigration also sent him a
date to be fingerprinted by the FBI and another date for a health check
by an Immigration-approved doctor. He meticulously kept both appointments.
- The couple was told by their attorney that one last step
was needed - a personal interview by an immigration official to ascertain
that theirs was a legitimate marriage. The date for this interview was
set for June 12, 2001 but had to be canceled and rescheduled due to a court
calendar conflict by the attorney.
- The attorney requested a new date in a letter written
on his stationary on May 23, 2001. The Zundels have the original, time-stamped
envelope in which a copy of this request was sent to them to notify them
of the re-scheduling request.
- Immigration, however, did not acknowledge this letter
- and did not reschedule the appointment.
- After waiting patiently, the Zundel's attorney wrote
a second letter on June 5, 2002, reminding immigration to reschedule the
appointment, this time sending a registered letter, "return receipt
- The Zundels have the original return receipt, documenting
that this letter was sent and received.
- Again, there was no reply, no new date set by Immigration.
However, since the Zundels had been told that there would be no status
report and that the process would take as long as three years, they had
no reason to worry. They waited for that interview and went about their
business establishing their domicile.
- On February 5, 2003, Ernst Zundel was brutally arrested
at his residence on grounds of "having missed a hearing" and
"having overstayed his visa." In handcuffs and leg irons, he
was shoved into a van and taken away by armed guards.
- It was later claimed that this arrest was based on the
fact that he had overstayed in the U.S. as a "visa waiver" tourist
- which he had not! Had there been a legitimate concern about a "visa
waiver" problem at the time Ernst's papers were filed for "Adjustment
of Status based on marriage", Immigration should not have, and would
not have, accepted the Zundels' application and proceeded with it as they
- Subsequent inquiries and FOIA documents reveal that both
of these letters of request for rescheduling are missing in the Immigration
files. Immigration officials now claim that they never received a rescheduling
request, despite the fact that at least one letter was sent registered
- and immigration signed for it.
- Were those two crucial letters lost? Misfiled? Maliciously
- The Zundels don't know, but they are surely entitled
to find out. Since then they have found out through FOIA that other documents
- Suspicious FOIA faxes and emails further indicate that
there was shady and improper communication between Canadian and US immigration
and secret service officials coordinating and masterminding the Zundel
arrest exactly prior to and on the date of the first scheduled interview.
- To this day, despite repeated requests and inordinate
efforts, no immigration official has agreed to meet with Ingrid Zundel,
review procedures and regulations - and get to the bottom of this mess!
- The Zundels ask:
- * What REALLY happened in this highly irregular arrest?
Who was behind it? Who had an interest in interfering and sabotaging
this couple's Adjustment of Status proceedings?
- * Why were Ingrid Zundel's repeated phone calls, letters,
and faxes to immigration and other authorities ignored after Ernst was
deported to Canada?
- * Why was a formal application for Reconsideration of
the Application for Adjustment of Status never acknowledged, much less
responded to by Immigration?
- * Why were the Zundels not notified that their application
was considered to have been "abandoned"? Why was there no letter
of "Intent to Deny", as regulations require, to notify them?
- * Why was there no hearing by an immigration judge prior
- * Why was habeas corpus denied in a one-sentence ruling
by the Knoxville District Court without either the Zundels or their attorney
- * Why is there now a ban for 20 years in effect, preventing
Ernst Zundel from returning to his home and to his U.S. wife and family?
Is that a proper "punishment" for "having missed an interview"?
- * Why was Ernst Zundel delivered in chains to the Canadian
authorities - when, as a German national, he should have been deported
- * Why is he being held in Canada in solitary confinement
on a "security certificate" - with no criminal record, and without
any charges - for more than 16 months?
- The Zundels claim, with much justification, that this
arrest was a political vendetta operation - an extradition in the guise
of deportation due to Ernst Zundel's unpopular political stance. It is
no secret that he has well-connected, powerful enemies in Canada. However,
he was legally in the United States, legally married to a U.S. citizen,
legally in Adjustment of Status procedures - which, according to a memorandum
by Attorney General Ashcroft issued in March of 2000, entitled him to wait
for as long as it took for Immigration to process his papers!
- Had habeas corpus been granted in the Knoxville District
Court, this tragic deportation - with U.S. law officials acting as de facto
hit squads to please a nefarious Canadian lobby - could have been prevented.
- The Zundels are asking for a legal remedy to end this