Wednesday, 29 August 2012
UPDATE on status of Iraq War Resisters
Dear Friends of War Resisters: After a period of calm in the cases of U.S. Iraq War resisters, things are quickly coming to a head.
War resister Kimberly Rivera and her family will receive a decision in their case in a few days and they face imminent deportation to the United States. Another war resister has been told to complete all of the submissions for his case by September 20th and to expect a decision shortly afterwards. Many other resisters are awaiting decisions on Humanitarian & Compassionate applications or spousal sponsorships. It appears that these decisions will now start coming in quickly.
Today, we are urgently appealing to you for all types of help to assist with this crucial phase of the fight to win asylum for war resisters.
In spite of two motions passed in the House of Commons calling on the government to allow war resisters to stay in Canada, thousands of letters and petitions, and support across the country for war resisters, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney continue to fight to have every U.S. war resister removed from Canada. Minister Kenney has had Citizenship & Immigration Canada lawyers intervene in the individual hearings and court cases of war resisters. He publicly labelled them "bogus" refugees, biasing the decisions in their cases. And he took the unprecedented step of issuing a bulletin to all Immigration Officers requiring them to red-flag applications that involve war resisters, labelling them as 'criminally inadmissible'. (http://resisters.ca/operational-bulletin-202/)
Faith communities, human rights organizations, refugee rights groups and thousands of Canadians have called on the Minister to implement the motions passed in Parliament, or, at a minimum, to allow the individual cases to be heard on their own merits – the same free and independent consideration that Minister Kenney insists was given to Conrad Black.
The only reason that U.S. Iraq War resisters have been able to stay in Canada as long as they have is because of the tremendous support they have received from Canadians for their courageous decision to stand up against a war that was internationally recognized as illegal and immoral. In the coming days and weeks we will be asking supporters to once again take action to let the government know that Canadians still support the war resisters and believe as strongly as ever that they should be allowed to stay.
But we also urgently need funds. We are fighting a federal government that has unlimited resources, and they are dropping a deportation order on the eve of a long weekend, with Parliament not sitting, with possibly only days before the Riveras face removal. To build a public campaign in such a short period of time, we will need to pull out all stops to demand that the federal government not deport any war resisters.
Nobody deserves to spend even a single day in jail for making a conscientious decision not to participate in the Iraq War. A victory for U.S. war resisters in Canada will be a major victory for peace and justice, and for the kind of Canada we want this country to be.
Thank you, as always, for your past and ongoing support. In peace and solidarity, War Resisters Support Campaign www.resisters.ca
For anyone who is able to and wishes to donate, here is how to do it:
1. Donate online by going here: http://resisters.chipin.com
2. Donate by cheque: To mail us a donation, please make a cheque payable to the War Resisters Support Campaign and mail it to:
War Resisters Support Campaign Box 13, 427 Bloor Street West Toronto, ON M5S 1X7 CANADA