In the last four months of 2014, an alarming number of U.S. Iraq war resisters in Canada received negative decisions in their immigration cases. Several of them have received, or are about to receive, removal orders from Canada.
This is despite the fact that a majority of Canadians support their stance against the illegal and immoral war, and despite Parliament having twice voted to let US war resisters stay.
The strong response of Canadians is what has kept U.S. war resisters in Canada – and out of U.S. military prison – for the past ten years.
Once again, US war resisters need their supporters to take action.
The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on Canadians to speak out against this attempt by the Harper government to remove remaining U.S. war resisters from Canada.
During the pan-Canadian week of Action, “Let Them Stay Week” from January 25 to 31, 2015, let federal Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander know that you support a provision for US war resisters to stay in Canada, and that you oppose any attempt to deport them.
The Canadian government has intervened directly into individual war resister cases through the unfair Operational Bulletin 202 which targets US conscientious objectors, and through blanket statements by former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney which undermined any possibility of a fair and impartial treatment of individual cases.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Sunday Jan 25 – Profile Picture Day: Change your profile picture on Facebook in support of US war resisters, for the duration of Let Them Stay Week.
Monday Jan 26 – Media Outreach Day: Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
Tuesday Jan 27 – Email/phone Blitz: Call or email Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander (cc to party leaders, immigration critics, and your MP) – click here to send your email or write your own email and send it to the Minister.
Telephone: 613-954-1064 / 613-995-8042
Wednesday Jan 28 – Mail-in Letters Day: Write a letter and mail it to the Minister of Immigration at:
The Honourable Chris Alexander, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Citizenship and Immigration
365 Laurier Avenue West
Thurs Jan 29 – Social Media Day: Share, post, disseminate information on war resisters on social media
Friday Jan 30 – Community Outreach Day: Call your local MPs office to express your concern; circulate the US war resister petition; make a donation to the War Resisters defence fund; post a window-sign at your home, workplace or community organization
Below is a joint statement recently issued by US war resisters in Canada, please share widely:
Joint Statement by former U.S. military personnel who came to Canada because of their conscientious objection to the 2003 Iraq war.
We are American war resisters. Many of us are combat veterans. All of us came to the conclusion that we could not in good conscience participate in the unjust and illegal war and occupation launched in March 2003 against Iraq.
Faced with jail time and forced redeployment in support of that disastrous war, we sought refuge in Canada.
The response from Canadians has been overwhelmingly welcoming and supportive, and has made it possible for us to settle here, raise families and build communities.
But the Conservative government has directly intervened to deny us access to a fair immigration process.
We now face imminent removal from Canada. Our removal will tear apart our families and punish us for simply doing what Canadians have already done – refusing to support and participate in an illegal and unjust war.
Former Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney publicly disparaged us, instructed immigration officers to ‘red-flag’ our cases, and labelled us ‘criminally inadmissible’ to Canada. This has prejudiced any chance of having our cases decided on their merits.
Yet Canada’s Parliament twice voted to allow us to stay. Canadian courts have acknowledged the disproportional punishment handed to US soldiers who have spoken out publicly in Canada. Those who have been forced back by the Conservative government have been court-martialed and received sentences from 12 to 24 months in jail.
It is no coincidence that so many of us are facing deportation at this very moment. It is difficult to manufacture consent for a new war when we are still here to tell the ground truth of the previous war. There is still time for Canadians to speak out – but time is running out.