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Army veteran who suffered brain injury after two tours in Afghanistan to be deported

Miguel Perez (Source KFOR) Miguel Perez (Source KFOR)

CHICAGO, IL (KFOR) -- An Army veteran from Chicago, who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan, is facing an order by an immigration judge to be deported.

"Miguel is basically an American in every sense of the word," said lawyer Chris Bergin.

According to KFOR, Miguel Perez Jr. moved to Chicago when he was 8-years-old and was a permanent legal resident. He joined the U.S. Army and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan where he suffered a brain injury in an explosion.

Perez's friends and family say that injury along with PTSD made it difficult for him to find work and then he started selling drugs. Perez was convicted of selling more than two pounds of cocaine in 2010.

Perez served seven years in prison.  However, because he is not a U.S. citizen, Immigration Customs Enforcement detained him, stripped his legal status and began the deportation process. He has been in ICE custody since his release.

“I feel terrible, because my son, right now, is a soldier with no nation – no Mexico, no U.S.A., but my son fought for this country not for Mexico – now, he’s not a national?" said Perez's mother Espranza Perez.

Perez has two children, both U.S. citizens, that he’s worried he won't be able to see them again if he's deported.

Perez is one of thousands of undocumented immigrant soldiers facing deportation. He will remain in the country during the Board of Immigration appeals process.

Information provided by KFOR. 

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