SEATTLE (AP) — An immigrant rights group is asking the Department of Homeland Security to release an Iraq War veteran who has been detained for more than three months while waiting to learn whether he'll be deported.
Chong Kim, a South Korean immigrant from Portland, Oregon, served with the National Guard in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project says that after he was honorably discharged, he struggled with homelessness, addiction and post-traumatic stress, leading to convictions for burglary in 2013 and attempted arson last year. He's been doing well since completing a 4½-month inpatient treatment program run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Immigration agents arrested him April 5 and brought him to a detention center in Tacoma, Washington. They plan to deport him because of his convictions, but his attorney is fighting it and says he should be released in the meantime.