petition, a plea by Amnesty International and even a letter from Noble Peace Laurete Desmond Tutu, Citizenship and Immigration minister Jason Kenney will not intervene in the case of Iraq war resister Kimberly Rivera.Despite a 19,600 name
The American-born Rivera fled to Canada in 2007, after her first tour in Iraq to avoid further military service. Shortly after her arrival in Canada, she applied for refugee status, was rejected, and after numerous appeals has been ordered to return to the U.S. on September 20.
For the last couple of years she has lived in Toronto with her husband and four children, two of which were born in Canada.
In a telephone interview with Yahoo! Canada News on Wednesday afternoon, Kenney said that it's not his place to intervene.
"We have a legal process for handling immigration matters, removal orders and asylum claims," he said.
"It's not a political system, it's a legal system."
Kenney also insists that Rivera has already had her due process in Canada.
"This individual made an asylum claim at Canada's immigration refugee board...who determined that Ms. Rivera was not a refugee that she did not have...a well-founded fear of persecution," he said, noting that he is only commenting on this specific case only because all the information is already in the public domain.
"She's had, by my count, seven judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative decisions [by] Canada's fair and generous and legal system. All of them indicating that she would neither face persecution nor risk if returned to the United States.
"So we would merely ask that she respect Canada's laws and kindly return to the United States."
According to CBC News, if deported, Rivera could face a court martial and up to five years in military prison.
Rivera's plea to Canadians on the petition website:
On September 20, my husband and I, and our four young children, could be deported from Canada. Across the border, I would be taken into custody, separated from my family, and likely put in a military prison for years: all because I opposed the war in Iraq.
My name is Kimberly Rivera. I joined the U.S. Army when I was 24. At the time, I thought the war in Iraq was a good thing. I thought it would make our country safer and bring democracy to Iraq.
Once I was stationed in Iraq, I realized I had been lied to. I saw the true face of war: countless civilian casualties, and Iraqi children left devastated by loss and filled with fear. We were not bringing freedom to Iraq; we were bringing needless pain and suffering and death. How could I look my children in the eye and tell them to be good people, when I was contributing to causing harm and death to innocent people on the other side of the world?
As this became clear to me, my conscience would no longer let me participate in the war in Iraq.
In 2007, my family and I came to Canada, where I applied for refugee status. Since that time, I have become active in my community in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. I speak out against the war in Iraq - and for peace - at every opportunity. Mario and I now have four beautiful children, two of them born in Canada.