Canada Is Deporting U.S. Woman Who Fled to Avoid War in Iraq Conservative Government's Policy Denies Asylum to Soldiers Who Flee Military Service

Article excerpt

TORONTO - Canada has ordered the deportation of a female soldier who fled the U.S. military in order to avoid the war in Iraq, officials said Thursday.

War Resisters Support Campaign spokeswoman Michelle Robidoux said that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has ordered Kimberly Rivera to leave the country by Sept. 20.

Rivera is meeting with her attorneys to determine her next step and was unavailable to comment, said Robidoux.

"We are very upset about this decision," said Robidoux. "The cases of war resisters are not being looked at properly. (Immigration Minister Jason) Kenney continues to intervene by telling immigration officers to red flag U.S. soldiers who are applying for asylum as criminally inadmissible. We think that has tainted the whole process and the government should withdraw that directive."

Robidoux said her organization would probably call on Kenney to grant the woman's family humanitarian and compassionate consideration and allow them to stay.

"Canada's immigration system is considered among the most fair and generous in the world. It is a matter of public record that Ms. Rivera has had multiple opportunities to make her case to stay in Canada," said Kenney's spokeswoman, Alexis Pavlich.

Rivera, 30, an Army private, served in Iraq in 2006. She said she became disillusioned with the mission. She crossed the border into Canada while on leave in February 2007, after she was ordered to serve another tour there. …


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