Canadian immigration department instructs to flag American war resisters
Canada, 9th August: Canadian immigration department has instructed its officials to flag US war resisters seeking permanent residency or asylum.
Since desertion is considered an offence in Canada, all defectors from American military applying for Canada visas or asylum status in Canada are liable to be persecuted under the National Defence Act. This has been stated by the new guide issued by CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada).
The imprisonment of the US war resistors could be as long as for the whole life, as per Canada rules.
Meanwhile, this ruling has come in for severe criticism from many who feel the timing of the ruling is wrong smelling of suspicions.
The ruling has rejected the application for permanent residence in Canada under compassionate and humanitarian criteria filed by the family of a US soldier. Family of Jeremy Hinzman, a US soldier, had sought moving to Canada. The application is now to be reconsidered following ruling by the court.
Way back in 2004, Hinzman had entered Canada and had applied for a refugee status in Canada after he found it morally wrong to fight as a US soldier for the invasion of Iraq. His application for the refugee status was not accepted by Canadian government.
Hinzman is not alone. In fact, there are nearly 50 American war resisters who have made applications for getting permanent residence in Canada primarily on humanitarian ground in the recent past while some have sought immigration to Canada through sponsorship by spouses.
Meanwhile, in the coming September, a private members bill named ‘Bill C-440’ is likely to be introduced which will makeit impossible for the deportation of the US war defectors back to America. The new bill will also offer a right to live in Canada with the only condition being that they had obtained criminal and medical clearances.
Canadian immigration minister Jason Kenney has been urged by Alyssa Mannning, a Canadian immigration lawyer representing cases of 20 war resisters, to take a neutral approach to the whole matter since the directive is applicable not only to refugee claimants but also to those seeking immigration into Canada based on spousal sponsorship and humanitarian grounds.