The Canadian government is prepared to deport US soldiers who fled to their country because they believe the war in Iraq is a criminal action. The War Resisters Support Campaign says former soldier, Cliff Cornell, has been told he must leave Canada by December 24 or face removal by force. The organization is asked Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to halt all deportation of war resisters. They want federal authorities to implement a motion passed by the Canadian parliament in June to prevent deportation of “conscientious objectors” to wars not sanctioned by the United Nations and they should be allowed to apply for permanent resident status. Kenney’s office insists US military deserters are not genuine refugees.
During the war in Vietnam, the people of Canada welcomed American deserters who fled the horror of that war, but today, the Canadian government is refusing to recognize the horror of Iraq and Afghanistan. Any soldiers who deserts knows he/she faces serious jail time so to make that decision entails careful consideration of what is right or wrong in life. It is a conscious decision by individuals who are conscientious objectors.