On Friday, August 30, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker erased the drug conviction of a U.S. Army veteran deported to Mexico. The 39-year-old vet’s supporters hope this will help him return to the U.S. Prizer pardoned the vet deported to Mexico, Miguel Perez, whose family, including two children and parents, live in Illinois and are U.S. citizens.
Gov. Pritzker blamed the “bigoted immigration policy of President Trump:”
“Miguel Perez should not have been deported. The bigoted immigration policy of President Trump and failed leadership of former Governor Rauner have caused unfortunate circumstances for a U.S. veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan. In evaluating this request for clemency, I recognize this pardon is not a perfect solution, but it is the most just action to take to allow a U.S. veteran the opportunity to be treated fairly by the country he served.”
Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr., 41, was born in Mexico and doesn’t have U.S. citizenship but had a green card as a permanent U.S. resident. Perez had lived in the United States legally since he was a young boy, and joined the Army in 2002 and served in Afghanistan where he suffered a brain injury. He was deported to Mexico in 2018 after pleading guilty to a non-violent drug offense related to brain injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosed after serving and spending seven years in prison.
As a legal United States resident who served in the military, Perez was supposed to given an expedited path to citizenship for military personnel under a 2002 executive order by President George W. Bush.
Military servicemen and women make substantial sacrifices in order to protect U.S. soil. Foreign-born members of the military are in a special category, as they fight to defend a country that may not yet recognize them as citizens. Fortunately, U.S. immigration law offers military members certain benefits for their service. You should discuss the to apply for U.S. citizenship with a qualified immigration attorney. Contact the immigration lawyers at Godoy Law Office for more information at 312.635.4162.