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Deported Army Veteran Miguel Perez Returns To U.S. For Citizenship Hearing

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Deported U.S. Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr. has returned to the United States to attend his citizenship hearing in Chicago on Wednesday.

His deportation made national headlines after his citizenship application was denied because of a 2010 drug conviction. Perez served 7 ½ years in prison for a non-violent crime and was deported to Mexico in 2018.

Perez suffered a traumatic brain injury during his two tours in Afghanistan and said his post-traumatic stress disorder was the reason behind his conviction.

Gov. JB Pritzker granted Perez a full pardon last month,

Perez was supposed to receive an expedited path to citizenship under a 2002 executive order issued by President George W. Bush, but due to an oversight he was not.

His family members, including two children and parents, live in Illinois and are U.S. citizens.

"It's just indescribable," Perez Jr. said earlier this year. "Being away from my family and everything that I love, my community, my home. It's just like being trapped. I fought for my homeland, which is America, which is Chicago, which is Illinois. Now, to be sitting here, it's just ... no."

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