Do military veterans deserve American citizenship?
That’s the question Army Private First Class Miguel Perez, Jr., 38, is asking a judge to consider before he is deported back to Mexico, where he was born.
Perez was born in Mexico and moved to Chicago as a young boy. Once 18, he enlisted in the U.S. army and was deployed on two tours overseas. Perez served the United States in Afghanistan, and brought home an Army Commendation Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and an Army Service Ribbon.
Sadly, he also brought home the lasting effects of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder after his jeep exploded in Kandahar province. He may soon be sent out of the country a third time, but for vastly different reasons.
Now, 30 years after he first set foot in the United States, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is seeking to send Perez back to Mexico for a drug charge from 2010, while the Private First Class and his lawyer, Christopher Bergin, mount a defense.