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Deported Army Veteran Returns to US for Citizenship Bid

September 25, 2019 (1 min read)

Sophia Tareen, Associated Press, Sept. 24, 2019

"An Army veteran who was deported to Mexico in 2018 arrived back in Chicago Tuesday for a final chance at becoming a U.S. citizen and living in the city he has called home since boyhood.

Federal immigration authorities granted Miguel Perez Jr. a two-week parole into the U.S. for an immigration hearing, according to his attorney. The 41-year-old Perez has a green card as a permanent U.S. resident, but after serving time for a 2008 non-violent drug conviction was deported last year. Then last month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a pardon , erasing the conviction and reviving Perez's chances to become a citizen.

... Perez is among several deported military members who have been recently pardoned by Democratic governors. His case has received wide support, including from Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a veteran who said Tuesday that Perez should never been deported in the first place.

Perez was born in Mexico, but his family immigrated when he was a young child. His parents are naturalized U.S. citizens and his two children were born in the U.S.

He joined the Army in 2002 and served in Afghanistan where he suffered a brain injury and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder."