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Over the past few weeks, since Kimberly Rivera received her deportation notice, there has been an outpouring of support and efforts by Canadians right across the country to try to prevent this great injustice from happening.
Kimberly Rivera, who came to Canada in 2007, struck a chord with so many people because of her conscientious decision that she could no longer participate in the Iraq War. Sadly, despite these efforts where 20,000 signed petitions, and many thousands called and wrote to Jason Kenney, the Harper government refused to allow Kim to stay while her Humanitarian and Compassionate application was processed. Kim voluntarily went to the border and was immediately arrested by US authorities. She is currently in a county jail in New York State, awaiting transfer to a military base.
Kim and her family have been ripped apart because of our government’s determination to punish conscientious objectors to the Iraq War. When Rick Dykstra announced in Parliament that Kim had returned to the US, the Conservative caucus erupted in applause.
This is the true face of the Harper government. The chasm between this government and the sentiment of the majority of Canadians was starkly revealed in that moment.
82% of Canadians opposed the Iraq War and nearly two-thirds want Canada to allow resisters to that war to be allowed to stay in this country.
Twice, a majority of MPs have voted in the House of Commons to allow Iraq War resisters to stay.
For everyone who has shown their support, it was incredibly moving and important for Kim and helped sustain her and her family through what can only be described as a nightmare, one entirely caused by the Canadian government.
Kim faces a very difficult road ahead and we will be doing everything we can to make sure she and her family continue to have the support they will need in the US. We will soon be posting information on how you can write to Kim and other ways you can show your support.
Donations are still needed both to ensure Kim has the support she needs, and also to keep the fight going for the dozens of other US Iraq War resisters whose cases are pending.
Please continue sending letters to the editor and keep this issue visible. Don’t let the Tories think they can put this behind them.