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‘As American as anyone’: Chicago veteran faces deportation after two tours of duty in Afghanistan

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A Chicago veteran is facing and fighting deportation after spending time in prison for drug charges, the Chicago Tribune reported. Miguel Perez Jr., 38, was born in Mexico and is presently a legal permanent resident of the U.S. He served two tours in Afghanistan.

Perez, who has lived in the U.S. for the last 30 years now faces possible deportation to Mexico over a felony drug conviction, but his case is not isolated. Experts who have tracked veteran deportations put the exact number in the thousands, though the Department of Homeland Security claims to not keep count, according to PBS News Hour. However, the American Civil Liberties Union estimates that number is in the hundreds.

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Perez thought that upon taking an oath to serve in the military, that he also became a U.S. citizen; however, he learned that was not the case upon receiving a summons for immigration court after his release from a state prison.

He had served seven years in prison on drug charges “for handing over a bag of cocaine to an undercover police officer,” the Tribune reports. Perez has since been in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and awaits deportation in a Wisconsin immigration detention center.

An immigration judge will determine on Monday whether Perez will be deported or not. According to numbers from the Tribune, there are nearly 18,700 legal permanent residents in the armed forces, and over 109,000 service people became citizens by the end of 2015.

In a comment on Perez’s case, ICE spokeswoman Gail Montenegro said in a statement, “ICE respects the service and sacrifice of those in military service, and is very deliberate in its review of cases involving U.S. military veterans,” adding, “Any action taken by ICE that may result in the removal of an alien with military service must be authorized by the senior leadership in a field office, following an evaluation by local counsel.”

Perez hasn’t lived in Mexico since he was 8 years old and his attorney, Chris Bergin, argues that returning would put his life in danger. “Being removed to Mexico, where he would be at risk of being killed … being separated from his whole family and the only country he has ever known, seems to be a punishment that does not fit the crime,” said Bergin.

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Veterans, including both U.S. citizens and green-card holders will head to Washington on Tuesday to lobby Congress in hopes that Perez will be released. Regarding his own case, Perez says, “The sweat, tears and sometimes blood we shed for this country makes us as American as anyone born here.”


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Lev Parnas’ lawyer ties Lindsey Graham to corrupt Ukraine scheme

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Rudy Giuliani delivered a letter in late 2018 to Sen. Lindsey Graham calling for sanctions on Ukrainian government officials, including a corruption reformer and another who ran the company whose board Hunter Biden served on.

The attorney for indicted Giuliani henchman Lev Parnas showed the letter to The Daily Beast, which reported the document described the Ukrainian politicians and business leaders as an "organized crime syndicate" -- and misspelled the GOP senator's name as "Lingsey."

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Rudy Giuliani eager to testify against John Bolton: ‘If he shows his face I would say — You’re an atomic bomb’

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Rudy Giuliani denied claims by former national security adviser John Bolton, and kept the door open to his own possible impeachment testimony.

The former New York City mayor said he was still President Donald Trump's personal attorney, but explained why he had not been added to his impeachment trial defense team, reported CBS News.

"Well, I am, but I can't participate in what goes on in the Congress, because I'm a possible witness," Giuliani said, adding that he's ready to testify if he got White House approval.

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Trump flings insults at John Bolton as Senate weighs subpoena: ‘If I listened to him we would be in World War Six’

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President Donald Trump hurled insults at his former national security adviser John Bolton -- who could be called to testify against him in the Senate impeachment trial.

Bolton revealed in his forthcoming book that Trump explicitly tied Ukraine aid to an investigation of Joe Biden, and Democratic senators -- and possibly some Republicans -- want to subpoena him to testify in the trial.

"For a guy who couldn’t get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn’t get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying 'Don’t do it, sir,' takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on T.V.," Trump tweeted, "and many more mistakes of judgement, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?"

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