Judge weighs Chicago veteran’s request to avoid deportation to Mexico

veterans

By Manya Brachear Pashman

A Chicago immigration judge said Monday she will issue a written ruling within weeks on whether Miguel Perez Jr., a decorated war veteran with a green card, must return to his native Mexico after serving time in a state prison for a felony drug conviction.

Immigration Judge Robin Rosche is weighing Perez’s request for relief under the United Nations Convention against Torture, a protection that resembles asylum. Under that international provision, the U.S. agrees not to deport people who are not American citizens or nationals to another country where they could be tortured.

Perez’s attorney, Chris Bergin, argued in court Monday that his client’s life would be in danger if he were sent back to Mexico, where he hasn’t lived since he was 8. According to human rights activists and advocates for deported veterans, drug cartels target former U.S. residents, especially veterans with combat experience, to work on their behalf, and those who don’t comply are at risk.

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