Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not kept record of the number of non-citizen veterans it has deported, in violation of its own operational policies.
Typically, when an ICE officer comes across a veteran they want to be departed, the decision to depart must be approved after the veteran’s service history has been evaluated, according to an article from The Hill.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report emphasizing that there was an incomplete record of the number of veterans deported between 2013 and 2018.
"ICE has developed policies for handling cases of noncitizen veterans who may be subject to removal from the United States, but does not consistently adhere to those policies, and does not consistently identify and track such veterans," the report states.
However, of the records that were kept, 250 veterans were placed in deportation proceedings between 2013 and 2018. Of the 90 veterans who were deported, 21% of those cases did not gain the needed approval before deportation.
ICE has responded to the report and highlighted the fact that those who were deported were also convicted with felonies that warranted deportation.
"The individuals were placed into removal proceedings because of felony convictions related to drugs; sexual abuse, of which 18 involved minors; firearms, explosives, or explosive material; kidnapping; terrorist threats; and other crimes," according to a statement from ICE.
ICE has failed to both keep track of veteran deportees and provide them with the proceedings they are due under the agency’s policies resulting in the possible unnecessary deportation of veterans.