In August 2012, I noted a decision made by the Canadian court.
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. [Army Times]
More U.S. soldiers could be sent back for court martial on desertion charges
Eight U.S. soldiers who fled to Canada instead of serving in the Iraq War have recently been turned down by citizenship and immigration.
The Conservative government has been vocally opposed to granting war resisters refugee or permanent residence status, but the group is not without support.
Parliament passed a motion in 2008 calling on the government to create a program that would allow conscientious objectors to apply for permanent resident status and cease any removal or deportation actions against them. The motion passed a second time a year later, but the government never took action.
And in 2010, Bill C-440, a private member’s bill that would have allowed U.S. war resisters to stay in Canada was defeated by only seven votes on its second reading.
What about Rivera?
She was deported from Canada in 2012 and turned herself in at the border, where she was detained and transferred to the custody of the U.S. army.
Rivera plead guilty to desertion, a plea deal that meant she would serve 10 months instead of 14 months in a U.S. military jail in California, far away from her husband and four children, who were living in Texas. Pregnant, she was denied early release and gave birth in jail.
“Some who have been quiet have received little if any jail time at all,” says James Branum, her U.S. lawyer. “Those who have spoken out the most have been singled out for the worst sentences.”
At her trial, prosecutors had a collection of articles from the press that were presented as evidence.