On Tuesday, The Chicago Tribune told the story of U.S. Army veteran Miguel Perez Jr., who was beginning a hunger strike to protest his likely deportation. Perez, 39, served two tours in Afghanistan and recently finished a prison term on a drug conviction.

Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau picked up on the cause of Perez.

Is deportation of veterans what we want? It’s a good question worthy of discussion. Favreau, however, left something out of his tweet.

This certainly isn’t the first that Perez has faced deportation. WLS-TV reported that ICE first encountered Perez while he was serving his prison sentence for selling cocaine and placed him into removal proceedings in 2012; that report came before his imminent deportation in December 2016.

Perez’s lawyer had filed a request for relief against deportation under the United Nations Convention against Torture, claiming his military background would make him a target of Mexican drug cartels. A three-judge panel rejected that appeal last week.

In 2016, ICE did issue a statement saying that it “specifically identifies service in the U.S. military as a positive factor that should be considered when deciding whether or not prosecutorial discretion should be exercised.” However, “applicable law requires ICE to mandatorily detain and process for removal individuals who have been convicted of aggravated felonies as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

Again, whether that’s the sort of person the United States wants to deport is up for discussion, but members of the Obama administration really seem to have another blind spot when it comes to the deportation of illegals.


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