OIF deserter deported from Canada, now in military custody
A U.S. soldier who fled to Canada to avoid the war in Iraq has been arrested and detained at the U.S. border after losing her deportation case.
Kimberly Rivera, who lived in Canada for five years with her husband and four children, was issued a deportation order last month and given until Sept. 20 to leave the country.
The War Resisters Support Campaign said in a statement Thursday that Rivera presented herself at the U.S. border on Thursday and was arrested and transferred to military custody. They said her family crossed separately so her kids wouldn’t see her arrested.
Rivera, a 30-year-old 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. After arriving in Canada on leave, she applied for refugee status.
Rivera had applied for permanent residency in Canada based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which she hoped would take into account the fact that she has four children, ages 10, 8, 3, and 18 months, the youngest of which were born in Canada. She did not receive a decision on that application, which was submitted three years ago.
In January of 2009, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board ordered her and her family to leave the country or face deportation. Rivera appealed that decision and lost.
Rivera told reporters last month that her biggest fear about being deported was being separated from her young children and having to sit in a prison for politically being against the Iraqi conflict.
To bad she didn’t think through with her actions and realize that deserting in a time of war, would ultimately separate her from her children. But it’s good to know Canada was done playing games with her.