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Army Veteran Facing Deportation Asks Judge To Let Him Stay In U.S.

(CBS) -- A U.S. Army veteran who is fighting deportation to Mexico presented his case before an immigration judge in Chicago this afternoon.

Testifying for more than two hours, Miguel Perez told the immigration judge that when he was brought back into Chicago for his hearing, he saw the skyline and thought, "This is a welcome mat."

Perez, 38, never became a U.S. citizen. But he was in the Army and served in Afghanistan, where he was wounded.

He says he suffered PTSD when he got back and then turned to alcohol and drugs.

Perez acknowledged his guilt in delivering cocaine to an undercover officer, but pointed out he took responsibility for the crime by pleading guilty and serving 7 years in prison.

In prison, he got a degree and was a teacher's aide.

Now he's an immigration detainee, fighting deportation.

"We want our brother home, you know? He's been gone for a long time. No holidays together. He has to see his kids. His kids need to know him again," Perez's sister, Sandra Marshall, says.

She says she's afraid for her brother if he's deported.

"Something might happen to him, end up in the wrong hands or go back to what he was. He's a good man."

The judge says she will issue a written decision in a few weeks.


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