Re: “Letter to the editor: Military veterans and ICE are not compatible” (March 26):

I’m another Vietnam veteran who concurs with Robert “Sam” Kelley that combining an ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) office with a veterans health care facility is a bad idea – although for different reasons.

Since 2017, 92 veterans who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces have been deported to their countries of origin. According to ICE, 94,000 non-citizen veterans reside in our country. All of them are eligible for Veterans Affairs benefits. Many, of course, suffer from war wounds and post-traumatic stress disorder.

It should be obvious that placing an ICE office within the immediate vicinity of a veterans service facility will intimidate and inhibit non-citizen veterans from seeking the services in person. The presence of protesters notwithstanding, the perpetual presence of armed personnel in uniform would also constitute a trigger for combat veterans.

I’m sorry, but this is just an exceedingly bad idea. Perhaps the federal government can find a less threatening entity to share the building with the VA, or find another division of the VA Department to share the space.

John M. Flagler

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