Illinois governor pardons crime of deported Army vet

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Updated 7:48 pm EDT, Friday, August 30, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he’s erased the drug conviction of an Army veteran who was deported to Mexico in 2018.

Supporters hope the pardon announced Friday will help Miguel Perez Jr. return to his family in Chicago. Pritzker says the pardon is the “most just action to take.”

Perez, who was born in Mexico, doesn’t have U.S. citizenship but had a green card as a permanent U.S. resident. He joined the Army in 2002 and served in Afghanistan where he suffered a brain injury. He’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Perez was convicted of a drug crime involving cocaine in 2008 and was deported by the U.S. government last year.

A Chicago pastor, the Rev. Emma Lozano, says Perez needs to be “treated with the dignity and honor he deserves.”