(CNN) – He grew up in Chicago, served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and faces deportation.
Miguel Perez Jr. was born in Mexico and, according to his family, committed a non-violent drug offense.
His parents are both U.S. citizens. They say their son has a green card, and enlisted in the U.S. Army before going through the citizenship process.
Clinging to the American flag their son gave him after serving in Afghanistan, Miguel Perez Jr.’s parents hope an immigration judge will allow Perez to stay in the United States.
Mother Esperanza Perez says, “I love my son, I need my son. My son is my hero.”
In custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, Perez Jr. pleaded his case via video monitor. The 38-year-old Mexican born legal permanent resident faces deportation, despite serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
Four years after leaving the military, Perez was caught and eventually convicted of a felony drug charge. He served prison time. Perez thought he became a legal U.S. citizen serving in the army, but he was wrong.
Perez told the judge he fears for his life if he is sent back to Mexico.
Perez also suffers from PTSD. He fears he won’t get the appropriate medication in Mexico.
After Monday’s hearing, Perez’s 9-year-old niece Mary Marshall also pleaded to keep her uncle in America. “I want him just to come home.”
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