October 04, 2019

Duckworth Congratulates U.S. Army Combat Veteran Miguel Perez, Jr., on Becoming a Citizen


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) issued the following statement today to congratulate combat Veteran Miguel Perez, Jr., on becoming a citizen of the United States. Senator Duckworth met with Perez in her DC office last week.

“I am so proud to finally be able to call Miguel Perez a fellow American. He sacrificed for our nation by serving overseas and, while this is long overdue, I’m glad Miguel can now breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate becoming a citizen of the country he loves and considers home. I send my best wishes to him and his family during this joyous time.”

Senator Duckworth was active in efforts to save Miguel Perez from deportation, introducing a private bill in February of 2018 to help him remain in the United States. She wrote several letters of support for Perez’s retroactive citizenship application, as well as a letter asking former U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielson to personally review Perez’s case. After Perez’s deportation, Duckworth spoke out, calling the deportation a “tragic example of what can happen when national immigration policies are based more in hate than on logic and ICE doesn’t feel accountable to anyone.”

Earlier this year, on the one-year anniversary of Perez’s deportation, Duckworth re-introduced three bills to protect and support Veterans and servicemembers. Her proposals—the Veterans Visa and Protection Act, HOPE Act and I-VETS Act—would prohibit the deportation of Veterans who are not violent offenders, give legal permanent residents a path to citizenship through military service and strengthen VA healthcare services for Veterans.