ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker granted clemency to a U.S. Army veteran who was deported to Mexico in 2018.
“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,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “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.”
According to the governor’s office, Miguel Perez immigrated to Illinois as a child.
He joined the Army in 2002 and served two tours as a special forces mechanic in Afghanistan, where he was injured in an explosion and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Perez returned from service with PTSD.
According to the governor’s office, he was a legal resident whose service in the armed forces was supposed to provide him an expedited path to citizenship under a 2002 executive order by President George W. Bush, but due to oversight, he was not given the opportunity.
In 2008, Perez was convicted of a non-violent offense, served 7.5 years and was released from Hill Correctional Center in September 2016.
In late 2016, he petioned the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, arguing that a pardon might prevent deportation. According to the governor’s office, the PRB recommended clemency in April 2017, but then-Gov. Bruce Rauner denied the petition in February 2018.
Perez was deported in March 2018.
Perez has active VA benefits that he can’t access in Mexico. According to the governor’s office, his family, including two children and parents, live in Illinois and are U.S. citizens.