Canada to Deport US Deserter

Mother who fled to avoid Iraq could face years in jail on return to US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2009 7:24 AM CST
Kimberly Rivera fled to Canada from her Fort Carson, Colorado base to avoid redeployment to Iraq.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The first woman soldier to flee to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq has been denied asylum, the Globe & Mail reports. Immigration officials told Kimberly Rivera, a mother of three, that she has until January 27 to leave the country or face deportation. Rivera served in Iraq in 2006 and went north the following year to avoid redeployment.

Rivera—whose youngest child was born in Canada 6 weeks ago—could face a court-martial and up to 5 years in jail if she returns to the US. Canada is moving at "shocking" speed to remove war resisters, said an organizer for a group supporting the estimated 200 still in the country. Canada's parliament passed a nonbinding measure last year urging asylum for conscientious objectors but it has been ignored by the ruling Conservative Party.