Ivo Skoric                                               September 30, 1995
1773 Lexington Avenue #5                                                   
New York NY 10029

On January 27, 1994, U.S. Department of Justice filed an Order to Show Cause in
Deportation Proceedings against me. I was never read that Order, nor I ever
received it in writing from the Department of Justice. I obtained a copy of that
order, however, under the Freedom of Information Act. I find that Order in error.
I deny all allegations cited in that Order except allegation #1 and allegation #3.
To other allegations I plead as follows:

ad 2)     I do not believe I am a native and a citizen of Croatia.

ad 4)     I was never informed that I was admitted to the U.S. until December 14, 1990.

ad 5)     I was specifically instructed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service
          that leaving the U.S. while under the asylum proceedings would mean giving
          up my claim. Although that might not constitute explicit authorization in
          their belief, my stay in the U.S. beyond December 14, 1990 was never disputed
          by INS officers in our correspondence and conversations.

The Order repeats the same mistakes from a preliminary decision by the Immigration
and Naturalization Service which I refuted by the Asylum Rebuttal Evidence letter
that I sent to INS on January 26, 1994.
On Dec 22, 1993, the Asylum Office of Immigration and Naturalization Service
reached the preliminary decision (copy enclosed) to deny my Request for Asylum in
the United States filed Dec 12, 1991, after careful consideration of my written
application (Form I-589) and supporting documents, the verbal testimony provided
at my interview (Sept 15, 1992), and available resource materials on human rights
conditions in the country that they considered to be my country.

I was surprised that they wrongfully concluded that:

1.   I am a native and a citizen of Croatia.

2.   I fear returning to Slovenia.

3.   I have dual nationality and I can reside in Germany.

4.   I do not fear persecution in Croatia.

5.   I do not qualify as a refugee, and, consequently I am not eligible for asylum
     status. Therefore I do not qualify for withholding of deportation either.

Ad 1)
Changed country conditions now prevail in the former Yugoslavia and Croatia is now
an independent country. When I came to the U.S., I came from Yugoslavia, and I came
after being persecuted for four years because of my peace work and objective

I requested the Asylum from Yugoslavia well before Yugoslavia disappeared, and if
the INS observed their deadlines this case would be closed before Yugoslavia ceased
to exist.

The fact that Yugoslavia collapsed, and the fact that I mostly lived on the
territory that now belongs to Croatia does NOT automatically make me a native and
a citizen of Croatia. This presumption lacks foundation.

I came to the U.S. on a passport issued by the Slovenian authorities. There was my
last permanent residence (Neubergerjeva 2, Ljubljana) in former Yugoslavia and
that was my last contact with that country. I have never resided in the Republic of
Croatia (a feat required for citizenship). I never formally requested Croatian

Since my father is a Croat, I am considered only an ethnic Croat (not a native or a
citizen). Have I accidentally been in Croatia in past few years, as an ethnic Croat
I would most probably become a victim of a war crime or a war criminal by now, which,
I suppose, nobody fair would wish.

Ad 2)
I never said that I feared returning to Slovenia. In the interview I said that I
thought I simply could not return to Slovenia, because I never was a citizen of
Slovenia. When I came to the U.S. I was issued a passport in Slovenia to be able to

Slovenian authorities, the most liberal in then Yugoslavia and aware of my problems
with the Croatian-Yugoslav authorities, issued me a passport (in Winter 1989) at
a residential address I borrowed from a friend (Neubergerjeva 2, Ljubljana). I have
never visited my "legal residence" in former Yugoslavia. My Slovenian passport is
an equivalent of, for example, a green card given to a Cuban immigrant in the middle
of the cold war for political reasons.

Since changed country conditions now prevail in the former  Yugoslavia and Slovenia
is now an independent country, it is highly unlikely the new Slovenian authorities
would continue to treat me as a Slovenian resident. Slovenian citizenship is based
on nationality or long-term residence in Slovenia (over 10 years), and residence
at the time Slovenia became independent (June 26, 1991, when I was already in the
U.S.). Slovenia is notoriously strict for denying citizenship to those of non-
Slovene ethnicity, even under the best circumstances. Feel free to contact
Slovenian Embassy official Mr. Borstnek at 202-667-5363 about that issue.

If I have stayed in former Yugoslavia after 1991, I would be staying in Ljubljana,
Slovenia. In that case I'd probably have to request asylum in Slovenia, undergoing
pretty much the same procedure I am going through now in the U.S. Considering my
previous activities in former Yugoslavia, that might not be a problem. However, it
is unlikely Slovenia would grant an asylum to somebody coming from a safe third
country (i.e. to me coming from the U.S.).

Ad 3)
I do not have and I have never claimed that I have a dual nationality (Yugoslav and
German) - I would like to request the tape from the INS interview at this point to
clarify that issue. On the contrary, I clearly stated during the interview
(September 15, 1992) that I didn't and probably could not have German citizenship,
although I was born there and my mother holds a German citizenship.

Notes that Ms. McAllister took during my interview show that evidently (copy
enclosed; as you can see Ms. McAllister believed it was October 15): "could stay in
Germany.. mother is there.. nationalization takes 2 years.. born in Germany..
lived w/ gmother in Yugos." Nowhere it says "dual citizenship," does it? Yet, in the
letter that was sent to me from INS on November 2, 1992, following the interview she
bluntly refused to issue me employment authorization stating that "I could apply
for asylum in Germany."

To challenge that nonsense, on Oct 7, 1993, I sent the INS a copy of a letter from the
German Consulate (copy enclosed) stating that it is highly unlikely that Germany
would grant me asylum after I spent three years in the U.S. "Lived w/ gmother in
Yugos." is a very important note which went on the record during the interview: I
explained that my parents divorced when I was six in a Yugoslav court which awarded
me to a foster care of my paternal grandmother (citing emotional unavailability of
my parents). The fact that I did not lived with my German mother since then cut me of
from German citizenship.

INS failed to correctly record what I said in the interview. INS failed to recognize
that sending asylum seekers to third countries (Germany, Slovenia) is mostly
unacceptable in international legal relations. Then INS made a mistake assuming
that I hold German nationality, and now INS claims that I am a native and a citizen
of Croatia. Another mistake. What are they going to claim next, just to prolong the
agony of this case? They failed to note that I have supplied other evidence in
support of my claim after the interview. They even failed to take down the interview
date right. They should be ashamed of their sloppiness, inefficiency and malicious

Ad 4)
Since I, per INS instructions, did not provide much information about my fear of
persecution in Croatia I am happy to provide you with some reports on human rights
abuses in Croatia, particularly concerning the freedom of the press (you may find
them enclosed). In the I-589 Form I wrote that I will have a problem with returning
to any part of former Yugoslavia (including Croatia) because I do not adhere to an
extreme nationalist position, and if I want to do my job as a journalist I would have
to choose between adopting one or being persecuted, since the essentially
undemocratic regimes do not tolerate neutrals. Surprisingly, neither of that was
noted by Ms. McAllister during the interview. She wrote: ">if returned [to Zagreb]
>wouldn't have problems to express opinion -/."

Furthermore, I said in the interview that most of the members of the political
police that confiscated my passport and persecuted me in Yugoslavia, have remained
in the same jobs in same or higher positions now working for the Croatian
government. Their job before was to persecute those against the regime. Their job
now is to persecute those against the regime. As I said in the interview, I have
reasons to believe in my continuous persecution in Croatia.

The overall record of the human rights abuses of new Croatian government is not much
better than the one of the old Yugoslav government. At the end of 1993, young male
journalists, who criticize the state, were drafted, ostensibly for the future
Croatian offensive in Bosnia: the land grab that pitted Croats against their
Bosnian allies. This contributes to my fears, particularly because I received a
notice, too. The military records were transferred directly from Yugoslav Army,
and all ethnic Croats who served some time in Yugoslav Army (as I did six months in
the winter 1982-83) were taken on record as potential recruits, despite of their
current residence or citizenship.

That same day Viktor Ivancic, the editor of Feral Tribune, an independent be-
weekly, was arrested, because he failed to respond to his draft notice. My father
was pleased to inform Croatian military authorities that I am unavailable (I was
in San Francisco at the moment). As a former and present peace activist (I am
currently involved with Zamir Transnational Net, an Internet effort to provide
communication for anti-war non-governmental organizations on all sides, and I am
designing the Balkans home page at the Peacenet's world wide web server) I solemnly
object Croatian involvement in Bosnia on the side of aggressor, and I would never
accept to be sent fighting for such a cause, at the price of my own life.

In Summer 1995, right wing extremists burned all copies of Feral Tribune that they
could find, while the police stood by. I have established myself as an outspoken
journalist writing for the Anti-War movement's newspapers ARKZIN. In 1994 ARKZIN
reporter Zoran Ostric has been threatened by members of the ruling party to be
forced to the front-line and shot in his back. Mr Ostric (who is my close friend) is
currently (Fall 1995) undergoing therapy for nervous breakdown. Also, I would like
to mention that the mail between me and my former university professor (Zarko
Puhovski), who is now a human rights activist, get "lost" on regular basis.

R.B. Christensen of BHRHA at Department of State in assessment of my asylum request
wrote on December 22, 1993 (well after the collapse of former Yugoslavia) that
documents I supplied were specific and relevant and that my verbal testimony was
specific, consistent w/I589, convincing and credible (copy enclosed).

Yet, the INS conveniently overlooked that, too.

Ad 5)
On Nov 2, 1992 I received a letter from INS denying me employment authorization. INS
based that denial on the determination that my Request for Asylum was frivolous.
In making that determination they claimed that they were solely guided by Interim
Operation Instruction 208.9. So, they considered me ineligible for asylum because,
in their wrongful opinion, I could apply for asylum in Germany. They did not dispute
my claim, supporting documents nor the relationship between my claim and one of the
five grounds of persecution on which a determination of asylum can be predicated.
Both Croatia and Slovenia were already independent countries in the time of that
letter (copy of that letter is enclosed, too). Therefore, in my belief, since I
proved that I could not be granted asylum in Germany, the INS should approve my

I assume, when INS suggests that an applicant can apply to another country for
asylum as a reason for denial of his application, that they have some reason to
believe that that application could be successful. However, passing the buck is not
accepted by most countries, as most accept only asylum cases if they are the first
country entered by the asylum seeker. See paragraphs 2 and 3 of the letter from the
German Consulate (attached).

I am fully confident that I qualify as a refugee and that I am eligible for asylum
status within the meaning of Section 101 (a) (42) (A) of ACT, supra, which defines
the term refugee, since I am unwilling to avail myself of the protection of the
country in which I habitually resided because of a well-founded fear of persecution
on account of political opinion.


As I freely admitted during the interview, I have now been living in this country
for more than five years, I work, I pay taxes, I had my own business (radio-show),
I speak fluent English, I know the legal system, I went to college and I feel very
much like a resident of this country, more than the resident of Slovenia, Croatia
or Germany. Obviously, I can't be granted the asylum from former Yugoslavia, since
that sorrowful and unfortunate country does not exist any more. That fact, however,
apparently rendered me stateless, and I have no choice but to stay in the country
of my current residence: the U.S. (see the letter from Joyce Antila Phipps. Esq.
from Seton Hall University School of Law)

Asylum rebuttal evidence that I sent to INS crossed in mail with their notice of
Order to Show Cause. It might be that they received it a day after deadline. Which
is nothing comparing to them being late: I usually received their decisions 90 or
more days past their deadline. Some countries, as we see, can collapse faster than
the INS bureaucracy is able to come up with a decision.

I believe you will be able to help INS to reconsider their final decision regarding
my Request for Asylum after receiving this letter and the additional supporting
documents enclosed with it.

I belong in the U.S.

Ivo Skoric