An immigration judge in Washington on Wednesday rejected a request to release from custody an Iraq War veteran fighting deportation. Immigration authorities arrested Chong Kim, a green card holder from Portland, in April and transported him to a detention center in Tacoma. The South Korean immigrant, who moved to the U.S. when he was 5 and reportedly doesn’t speak Korean, struggled with addiction, homelessness, and post-traumatic stress after serving in Iraq in 2009 and 2010. While he has now successfully completed a substance abuse program, his struggles led to burglary convictions and other crimes which immigration authorities are using as the basis for his deportation. Kim’s attorney, Tim Warden-Hertz, said he plans to appeal the judge’s decision. “He admits he had a drug problem and that he committed crimes when he was under the influence — he’s not proud of it. To find he’s a danger or a flight risk now doesn’t make any sense,” Warden-Hertz told the Associated Press.
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