Letters to the Editor

Ernst must address veteran deportations

Sen. Joni Ernst was recently quoted in The Gazette as saying “[she] hasn’t heard of (deportations of veterans) happening” but would be “very concerned if that was happening.” This response is unacceptable from someone who is a veteran and who serves on the Armed Services committee. If she hasn’t heard, it shows she hasn’t been listening.

Reports of veteran deportations have been making headlines since early 2018. And, as reported by the Washington Post, “ICE does not know precisely how many veterans it has deported ... Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney who represents recruits and veterans in deportation proceedings, said Pentagon and Homeland Security policies enacted in recent years have accelerated the problem.”

From 2013 to 2018, ICE failed to follow its own policies requiring agents to consider a veteran’s military record before beginning the process of removal from the country, according to the report. Time in service, awards and deployments are all among factors that are supposed to be weighed when making a deportment decision. In addition, ICE “does not know exactly how many veterans have been placed in removal proceedings or removed.”

Family separation and children in cages haven’t caused the senator to speak out against this administration’s inhumane immigration policies. Maybe veteran deportations will.

Joe Stutler

U.S. Army veteran

Marion

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