CHICAGO (WSVN) — A federal judge has ordered an Army veteran who served two tours of duty to be deported to Mexico.
WGN reports that Miguel Perez moved to the U.S. when he was 8 years old. He became a legal permanent resident in Chicago, and eventually joined the military.
Perez was deployed to Afghanistan twice, and suffered a brain injury in an explosion. He was diagnosed with PTSD when he returned home, which family members said made it difficult for him to find work.
Perez was arrested for selling cocaine in 2010, and served seven years in prison.
But because he was not a U.S. citizen, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials detained Perez and stripped him of his legal status.
“I feel terrible, because my son, right now, is a soldier with no nation – no Mexico, no U.S.A., but my son fought for this country not for Mexico – now, he’s not a national?” Perez’s mother Espranza Perez said to WGN.
His attorney filed an appeal after the deportation order, as family members pleaded with Senator Dick Durbin to help him stay in the country.
“It’s a complicated case, we don’t want dangerous people to remain in this country, but we ought to have our eyes wide open,” Durbin told WGN. “Here’s a man who risked his life for this country, maybe he can pay his price for what he’s done wrong here, and still get a chance to stay here.”
Perez will remain in the country, in ICE custody, during his appeal.
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