Deported Army veteran returns to US in bid to become citizen

September 24, 2019 - 1:06 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — An Army veteran deported to Mexico in 2018 says he's overwhelmed to be granted permission to re-enter the country for another chance to become a U.S. citizen.

Immigration officials granted Miguel Perez Jr. a two-week parole for a Chicago immigration hearing. He has a green card as a permanent resident but was deported after serving time for a 2008 drug conviction. Last month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker pardoned him, which Perez hopes helps his case.

Perez spoke publicly Tuesday after arriving in Chicago.

His attorney, Chris Bergin, says they are hoping for a speedy decision after Wednesday's hearing. If there isn't one within 14 days, Perez returns to Mexico.

Officials with Citizenship and Immigration Services and Customs and Border Protection declined comment.

Perez suffered a brain injury serving in Afghanistan.