Canada Deports Iraq War Objector to US
Kimberly Rivera faces years in jail for desertion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2012 4:21 AM CDT
Kimberly Rivera plays with her children in their Toronto home last month.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Michelle Siu)
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(Newser) – A soldier who fled the US to avoid serving a second tour in Iraq has lost her fight to stay in Canada. Kimberly Rivera complied with a deportation order yesterday and was arrested and transferred to military custody as soon as she crossed the American border, reports the Globe and Mail. Her husband and four children—two of whom were born after she fled to Toronto in 2007—crossed the border separately. "She didn’t want her children to see her arrested by the military," says a spokesman for the War Resisters Support Campaign .

Rivera, 30, became an outspoken critic of the Iraq war after a tour of duty in 2006. The Canadian government rejected her request for asylum, saying it did not believe the "administration of the president or the president himself in any way, shape, or form, is going to persecute" her. Her lawyer says she will now face between two to five years in prison for deserting her unit, reports the BBC. "Kimberly now awaits punishment for refusing to return to Iraq, a conflict which Kimberly and Canada determined was wrong," the resisters' support group says in a statement. During the Vietnam War, Canada allowed around 90,000 Americans to take refuge north of the border, many of whom are now Canadian citizens.