A shocking deportation On Friday, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it would be deporting Miguel Perez-Montes, a U.S. Army veteran. Perez-Montes had served and completed two tours in Afghanistan before his deportation to Mexico.
This news came after his citizenship was denied due to a felony drug conviction.
“On March 23, 2018, deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed Miguel Perez-Montes, 39, to Mexico. Perez-Montes boarded an ICE Air Operations flight at Gary (Indiana) International Airport and was flown to Brownsville, Texas. There, ICE officers escorted Perez-Montes across the U.S.-Mexico border and turned him over to Mexican authorities,” Nicole Alberico, a spokesperson for the agency, said in a statement.
“Perez-Montes has been in ICE custody since Sept. 23, 2016, when he was transferred from the Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg, Illinois, after he completed his prison sentence,” she continued.
Perez-Montes was found guilty of delivering cocaine to an undercover officer. Consequently, the veteran was sentenced to 15 years and had his green card revoked. He served approximately half of his prison sentence before the deportation proceedings occurred.
He reportedly arrived in the States as an 8-year-old child with his parents and sister, who have since become naturalized U.S. citizens. Notably, he also has another sister who is an American citizen by birth.
According to CNN, Perez-Montes has claimed that his conviction was the result of his PTSD.
The decision to deport Perez-Montes was criticized by many, including Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), who is an Iraq War veteran.
“This case is a tragic example of what can happen when national immigration policies are based more in hate than on logic and ICE doesn’t feel accountable to anyone,” Duckworth said.
The senator also argued that Perez-Montes should have been given the ability to review and exhaust his legal options.
“I am appalled that Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen did not respond to my personal appeal asking merely that she review Miguel's case and decide for herself whether deporting this brave combat Veteran was a good use of DHS’ limited resources,” she said.
Duckworth had sent a letter to Nielsen on Friday asking for the administration to review his case.
The recent string of deportations and heightened activity by ICE is a result of President Trump's strict anti-immigration policy, as well as his crude rhetoric towards immigrants. He has infamously called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border.
H/T: The Hill