It is absolutely true that no one forced Kimberly Rivera to join the U.S. army. No one can deny that making such a choice during a time of war (which seems like forever now) means that you are volunteering to serve in areas afflicted with combat. Being deployed to Iraq is foreseeable outcome of your decision. And so it is that when Kimberly Rivera came to Canada seeking asylum, she was fleeing from choices freely made.
It is still quite sad that she has been jailed. Yes, she has reneged on her commitment to the army, but it is difficult to feel too indignant about someone’s decision to no longer kill people.
Her story is troubling. She could not claim persecution to the same degree as Skylar James. However, in deportation hearing, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office claimed that they did not believe Ms. Rivera would be arrested upon deportation. Considering the history of war resisters returned to the United States, this statement means one of two things. Either Mr. Kenney or his spokeswoman was lying, or the U.S. government lied to a Minister of the Crown in order to lock up this mother of four.
And this is where the sadness really sinks in. From the story:
The War Resisters Support Campaign said in a statement Thursday that Rivera presented herself at the U.S. border on Thursday and was arrested and transferred to military custody. They said her family crossed separately so her kids wouldn’t see her arrested.
It is sad that these kids, two of whom were born in Canada, will now be separated from their mother because she did not want to go back and fight a war that Canada does not even support (despite any rhetoric). It is sad that a war that has dragged on for so long continues to destroy lives, both in Iraq and in North America.
Bring the soldiers home.