LAREDO, Texas (CNN) — A U.S. Army veteran who was deported in March of 2018 re-entered the United States from Mexico on Monday.
Miguel Perez, who served two tours in Afghanistan, is hoping to gain what he has sought for so long: U.S. citizenship.
His deportation came after authorities denied his citizenship application because of a felony drug conviction in 2010.
Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker pardoned Perez last month.
He was allowed to cross the border after U.S. Customs and Border Protection gave him a 14-day parole to attend a citizenship appointment.
Perez’s patriotism Monday was impossible to miss. He was draped in one American flag and carrying another.
Perez’s lawyer tells CNN he hopes the citizenship decision will come as soon as Wednesday. Immigration officials gave Perez a two-week waiver to attend his citizenship hearing on
Perez was sentenced to 15 years for charges related to delivering more than two pounds of cocaine to an undercover officer. His term was half-finished when deportation proceedings began.
Perez blamed PTSD from his deployments for his drug addiction and conviction.