Kim Rivera, the first female U.S. war resister to flee to Canada, is expected to be deported today.
A U.S. Army private from Texas who served in Iraq in 2006, Rivera came to Canada in February 2007 to avoid being deployed again.
Rivera sought refugee status and has been living in Toronto with her husband and her four children, two of whom were born in in Canada. However, in late August, she lost her legal fight to remain in the country.While Rivera has said she will comply with the order to leave, last-minute efforts were underway Wednesday to keep her in Canada.
The War Resisters Support Campaign, who organized a demonstration in Toronto Wednesday evening calling on Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to stop Rivera’s deportation order, say she could face a court martial and time behind bars when she returns to the U.S.
Efforts to permit Rivera to stay here have also attracted some high-profile supporters, including Archbishop DesmondTutu
“The deportation order given to Ms. Rivera is unjust and must be challenged,” Tutu wrote earlier this week in a commentary published in the Globe and Mail.
“It’s in times when people are swept up in a frenzy of war that it’s most important to listen to the quiet voices speaking the truth. Isn’t it time we begin to redress the atrocity of this war by honouring those such as Ms. Rivera who had the courage to stand against it at such cost to themselves?”