An Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico.
According to ABC News, 38-year-old Miguel Perez Jr turned to drugs after being diagnosed with PTSD. His drug habit led him to selling cocaine, which landed him in prison. Perez’s family said they mistakenly assumed because he fought in the Army, it meant he was an American citizen.
Perez’s deportation comes after five year battle to remain in the country. On Friday, (March 23) Perez was flown to Brownsville, Texas and then transported over the U.S.-Mexico border and handed over to Mexican authorities.
Born in Mexico, Perez came to the United States legally when he was 8-years-old and grew up in Chicago. He served two tours in Afghanistan before being discharged with post traumatic dress disorder. After being discharged, Perez pled guilty to selling cocaine and severed years in prison.
Perez’s attorney, Christopher Bergin said Perez longed for the adrenaline rush of active duty and turned to drugs. Perez was “blown out of his Jeep in Kandahar,”and suffered brain injury along with losing most of his hearing due to grenades and roadside bombs.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials says they greatly respect Perez’s and any military veterans contributions, and they also throughly review immigration cases involving those who served.