September 24, 2019

Duckworth Statement on Miguel Perez Jr.’s Parole into U.S. for Citizenship Hearing


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) issued the following statement today regarding U.S. combat Veteran Miguel Perez Jr.’s parole into the country and upcoming citizenship hearing in Chicago:

“Miguel Perez was willing to protect our nation in uniform and his experiences after coming home—including the great lengths he went to reform his life—show us why we should never give up on our combat Veterans. While he shouldn’t have been deported in the first place, I’m glad he’s received this parole after Governor Pritzker granted him clemency to attend his citizenship hearing, and I wish Miguel the best of luck. It will be a proud day for our country when we can call Miguel a fellow American.”

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.