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Ore. veteran detained by ICE, could be deported to South Korea

Chong Hwan Kim (Courtesy)

TACOMA, Wash. — An Oregon man who served in the Iraq War has been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and is being held in Tacoma, Wash.

Friends tell KATU News that Chong Hwan Kim, now 42, was brought to the U.S. by his parents from South Korea when he was about 5 years old. He served in the Oregon National Guard as an Infantryman for nearly six years, and mobilized in Iraq from 2009 to 2010. He was honorably discharged.

He remains a South Korean national, and was detained this week by ICE because of a prior conviction for attempt to commit arson in Multnomah County.

According to a representative from the Seattle Field Office, Kim will remain detained in Washington "while his immigration case undergoes review by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the Department of Justice agency which administers the nation’s immigration courts."

Service members have an option to become U.S. citizens if they serve. It's not forced, required or automatic, officials said.

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