A US Army veteran who suffers from PTSD after serving two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico.
Father-of-two Miguel Perez Jr., 39, was escorted across the border from Texas and handed over to Mexican authorities Friday, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
This decision came after Perez applied for citizenship but was denied because of a felony drug conviction, which he says was caused by his PTSD.
He argued that he deserves to receive mental health treatment in the US since he served for the country, but customs still deported him on Friday.
Miguel Perez Jr., 39, has been deported back to Mexico after serving two tours in Afghanistan because of a felony drug conviction. The veteran suffers from PTSD
He said that his PTSD led him down a path of drug and alcohol abuse. His lawyer said he was left in Mexico with no money and only his orange jumpsuit
One of Perez’ supporters is US Senator Tammy Duckworth, D-IL.
She said in a statement: ‘Mr. Perez has been detained for months, separated from his family and left without access to the care he needs, deserves and has earned.
‘If the military and our government hadn’t failed Mr. Perez multiple times, he’d never have been in this predicament to begin with.
‘He earned the opportunity to remain in this country when he vowed to defend it in our military, but today’s decision is yet another example of our nation failing him once more.’
Perez’ lawyer, Chris Bergen, told NBC News that the veteran was left in Mexico with no money and only his orange jumpsuit as clothing.
‘He was dumped in one of the most dangerous areas of the Mexican border,’ Bergen said. ‘We will continue to fight his case and appeal his citizenship denial.’
Perez was born in Mexico and moved to the US legally when he was eight-years-old, CNN reported.
He has two children who were born in the US that he has now been forced to leave behind.
The 39-year-old’s parents and his one sister are both American citizens, and his other sister is automatically one because she was born in the US.
There is nothing and no one left for him in Mexico.
Miguel Perez Sr. holds up a picture of his son before he was deported. The veteran’s parents, two sisters and two daughters all have citizenship in the US
Perez served two tours in Afghanistan. His family wants him to be brought back to the US where he can be treated for his mental illness since he served for the country
Perez joined the Army in 2001 just months before 9/11.
He then served in the Army for two tours of Afghanistan before he was discharged for reportedly smoking marijuana.
The veteran said that his two tours set his life on a downward spiral because of his PTSD.
He become dependent on drugs and alcohol, which ultimately led to his felony conviction.
Perez was arrested in 2010 after he was caught in Cook County, Illinois, delivering more than 2lbs of cocaine.
He was sentenced 15 years in jail and halfway through customs started their deportation process.
Perez’s lawyer said that while this case is a difficult one, they are going to keep fighting to bring him back into the country.