CHRONICLE: Rauner denies clemency for decorated Army veteran and permanent resident

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Governor Bruce Rauner denied a request for clemency for an Army Veteran and legal permanent resident who is facing deportation to Mexico.

Pfc. Miguel Perez Jr. served two tours in Afghanistan and joined the U.S. military in 2001. He has lived in the United States legally for thirty years and is the father of two U.S. citizens,

Perez enlisted in the Army on his 23rd birthday, on April 17, 2001, because he wanted to give back due to his gratitude of the opportunities America had offered generations of his family.

He earned an Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and an Army Service Ribbon.

Upon returning from Afghanistan, Perez was treated at a VA center for PTSD. During that time, he got mixed up with drugs and alcohol and was convicted on a felony drug charge.

While at Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg, Perez has earned an Associate’s Degree, received addiction therapy, and worked as a teacher’s aide, coaching other inmates to get their GEDs.

Perez believes that his life is in danger if he is returned to his native Mexico, where he has not lived since age 8. He requested clemency from the governor, who this week denied the request.

The Chicago City Council, Cook County Board of Commissioners, the Illinois House, and the Illinois Senate have all passed resolutions calling on Congress to provide relief for soldiers who are legal residents of the U.S., but have committed nonviolent crimes.

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