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Army veteran deported after being denied US citizenship

CHICAGO (AP/WCMH) – An Army veteran with a green card was deported after he was denied U.S. citizenship due to a 2008 drug conviction.

On Thursday, immigration officials denied Miguel Perez Jr.’s citizenship, despite his two tours in Afghanistan.

According to CNN, Perez, 39, was escorted across the US-Mexico border from Texas and handed over to Mexican authorities Friday, ICE said in a statement.

Perez petitioned immigration officials to be granted citizenship retroactive to when he joined the military in 2001.

Perez served two tours in Afghanistan. He says he mistakenly thought he became a U.S. citizen when he took an oath to protect the nation.

Perez was born in Mexico and legally came to the United States at age 8 when his father, Miguel Perez Sr., a semi-pro soccer player, moved the family to Chicago because of a job offer, Perez told CNN earlier. He has two children born in the United States.
His parents and one sister are now naturalized American citizens, and another sister is an American citizen by birth.
It’s a complicated case. Perez has said that what he saw and experienced in Afghanistan sent his life off the rails, leading to heavy drinking, a drug addiction and ultimately to his felony conviction.