Editor’s Note: CT readers really reacted to this story when it originally ran.
A misleading tweet from a reporter had Democrats and liberals on social media up in arms recently after it announced that a military veteran was being deported to Mexico.
However, what the tweet left out was that the man had been drummed out of the military for a drug infraction, that he had served a lengthy prison term after giving drugs to an undercover officer — and that the deportation order had been issued under the Obama administration.
In a tweet last week, a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists posted the sad “travesty” of Miguel Perez:
ICE has arrested a U.S. army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and has two U.S. citizen children. His name is Miguel Perez Jr. and he has lived in the U.S. since he was 8 years old https://t.co/xheimPemlO
— Spencer Woodman (@spencerwoodman) February 1, 2018
It didn’t take the left long to pounce and take up the Chicago resident’s case.
There are no words https://t.co/sW627l7hYk
— US Rep Brendan Boyle (@RepBrendanBoyle) February 2, 2018
Another painful example of the destructive immigration policies of the Trump Administration. We must fix this broken system. Miguel Perez Jr. is a patriot and doesn’t deserve this. It is a disgrace. https://t.co/BAN0s1raJq
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) February 2, 2018
Even the Democrats on the House Veterans Affairs Committee got in on the Trump-bashing action, arguing that no veteran should ever be deported:
Two words that should never be uttered together in this country are “deported veteran.” @RealDonaldTrump, this is a disgusting way to treat a #veteran who selflessly put his life on the line to defend us. This is a disgrace. https://t.co/narcgn6ODc
— House Veterans' Affairs (@VetAffairsDems) February 2, 2018
Heartbreaking, until you consider what Mr. Woodman left out. And, according to the Washington Free Beacon, that’s a great deal.
First, Perez was given a general discharge from the Army on a drug infraction. In 2008, after his military service, according to the Chicago Tribune, he “handed a laptop case containing cocaine to an undercover officer” and ended up being sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Perez, 39, was born in Mexico and came to the United States when his father moved the family to Chicago because of a job offer, according to CNN. He is currently on a hunger strike as he faces deportation.
He says he mistakenly thought he became a U.S. citizen when he took an oath to defend the United States while in the military. He also contends his military superiors did not help him understand just what he needed to do in order to become a citizen.
After he was released from prison in September 2016, he was placed into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and ordered deported. This, you may note, happened under the waning months of the Obama administration, which had every opportunity to make sure Perez stayed in the country. It did not.
“Perez’s attorney Chris Bergin said he has filed a stay on two grounds,” the Chicago Tribune reported. “One is based on a medical evaluation finding that Perez needs immediate attention for PTSD and his brain injury. The other seeks retroactive citizenship for Perez to when he joined the military in 2001.”
Perez has previously argued that veterans with combat experience are targeted by drug cartels in Mexico to work for them, although a three-judge panel on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that argument in late January.
While Perez may have served this country, the fact is that he is being deported for a reason: He is not an American citizen, and he committed a serious crime.
Courts under both the Obama and Trump administrations have upheld his conviction, and if the Democrats had wanted to do anything about it, they certainly had a president who could have done just that. He chose not to, likely for good reason.
To drop this on the Trump administration is the height of deceptiveness. If liberals want to look at who’s really responsible for deciding this, they ought to look at someone else from Chicago: former President Obama.
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