Miguel Perez Jr Facts: Convicted Army Veteran Deported To Mexico

An army veteran, who was part of two tours to Afghanistan following which he was convicted on drug charges, was deported to Mexico Friday, media reports said over the weekend. The news was first confirmed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to CNN.

Miguel Perez Jr. had his request for citizenship denied due to his felony drug conviction, with a sentencing of 15 years in prison. Perez had lived in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident since age 11 but his green card was taken away after he was found guilty of delivering cocaine to an undercover police in 2008. His parents and a sister are naturalized U.S. citizens, and another sister is an American citizen by birth. 

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), who is an Iraq War veteran, criticized the handling of Perez’s case. 

“This case is a tragic example of what can happen when national immigration policies are based more in hate than on logic and ICE doesn’t feel accountable to anyone,” Duckworth said in a statement on Saturday. “At the very least, Miguel should have been able to exhaust all of his legal options before being rushed out of the country under a shroud of secrecy. I am appalled that Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen did not respond to my personal appeal asking merely that she review Miguel’s case and decide for herself whether deporting this brave combat Veteran was a good use of DHS’ limited resources.”

Duckworth had sent a letter to Nielsen asking for the administration to review the case.

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