TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - "The USW calls on Immigration Minister
Jason Kenney to grant Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera's application
to stay in Canada," said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW)
"The minister can choose to step in and allow Kimberly and her family to
stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds," said Neumann. "Two of
Kimberly's children were born here, yet the process for deporting her
failed to consider the wellbeing of her family."
Rivera is to be deported on Sept. 20, according to a Pre-Removal Risk
Assessment (PRRA) for Rivera, her husband Mario and their four young
children (two of whom are Canadian citizens).
Rivera joined the U.S. Army when she was 24 and was stationed in Iraq.
She believed the U.S. efforts would make her country safer and bring
democracy to Iraq. Disillusioned by the reality of civilian casualties
and Iraqi children devastated by loss and filled with fear, she came to
Canada in 2007 and applied for refugee status. Rivera felt she could no
longer participate in a war where she was contributing to causing harm
and death to innocent people.
The USW has supported U.S. Iraq War resisters since 2004 when the first
war resister arrived in Canada. The Toronto Steelworkers Hall is
offered for the War Resisters Support Campaign's public meetings.
Members of the USW are encouraged to sign the War Resisters Support
Campaign's petition and call Minister Kenney to ask that he allow the
Rivera family to stay in Canada.
During the Vietnam War, 100,000 war resisters came to Canada and more
than half of them remain here today. Many of them volunteered and, like
Kimberly, later developed moral objections to the war that they could
not ignore. In the 1970s, conscientious objectors who had voluntarily
joined the U.S. military were accepted as permanent residents here
without distinction from those who were drafted.
"Across the country, war resisters, including some who are now
Steelworkers, were accepted here because they could not in good
conscience participate in a war. They, and all of the Vietnam War
resisters, have made invaluable contributions to Canadian society and
to our economy," said Neumann.
Public opinion polling shows that a majority of Canadians want our
government to continue that tradition today. A 2008 Angus Reid poll
found that 64% of Canadians would let U.S. military deserters stay in
War Resisters Support Campaign's petition at www.change.org/letkimstay
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, United Steelworkers, 416-544-5966, firstname.lastname@example.org