Veteran serving time for drugs may be deported after clemency de - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Veteran serving time for drugs may be deported after clemency denied

The man's family hoped the governor of Illinois would give him a second chance and stay his deportation. (Source: WLS/CNN) The man's family hoped the governor of Illinois would give him a second chance and stay his deportation. (Source: WLS/CNN)

CHICAGO (WLS/CNN) - There will be no pardon and no clemency for a military veteran facing deportation.

A court in Illinois convicted Miguel Perez Jr. in 2010 of delivering more than two pounds of cocaine to an undercover officer.

Sentenced to 15 years in prison, Migual Perez Jr. served half that term before being taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

His family hoped the governor of Illinois would give him a second chance and stay his deportation.

His mother Esperanza Perez was hoping for good news "but when I opened (the letter), I couldn't believe it."

Governor Bruce Rauner denied clemency for her son.

Miguel Perez Jr. served two tours of duty with Special Forces in Afghanistan. The green card holder faces deportation to Mexico.

ICE took Miguel Perez Jr. into custody after he served seven years in prison for a non-violent drug charge.

He and his family were hoping a pardon would put him on a speedy path to citizenship.

"It's not appropriate to go into detail on reasons for a decision, but we take every review of clemency and pardon very seriously. We gave a thorough review, and we made the decision not to grant it in that case," Rauner said.

"It's not fair because my son is a hero; he's not a criminal." Esperanza Perez said.

Speaking by phone from jail, he said he thought Rauner's support for veterans would help his cause.

"I was sad. I was upset and heartbroken. I really believe he would grant me a pardon because of the way that he's been talking all along," Miguel Perez Jr. said.

He said his case is a veterans issues not an immigration one.

Miguel Perez Jr. is not giving up hope, especially since learning that Sen. Tammy Duckworth is introducing a private bill that would give him citizenship, although it is considered a long shot.

"If she can get the right people in leadership to request a report, it automatically would stay any kind of deportation," attorney Chris Bergin said.

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