First Iraq War veteran to face deportation

Courage to Resist. Updated May 28, 2008

US Iraq war resister Corey Glass was told last week that his application to stay in Canada for “humanitarian and compassionate” reasons has been rejected. He has been ordered to leave Canada by June 12. If this order is allowed to stand, Corey will be the first Iraq War resister to be deported from Canada.

Action Alert: Sign the “Dear Canada: Let U.S. War Resisters Stay!” letter. Courage to Resist will immediately send three letters to Canadian officials on your behalf via International First Class Mail.

Call Canadian Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion at 613.996.6740 or 613.996.5789
• to support the Parliamentary motion to allow Iraq War resisters to remain in Canada,
• to oppose the deportation of people of conscience who have resisted an illegal war, and
• to support the will of the majority of people, not the U.S. government’s endless war agenda.
(Polls show that 64% of Ontarians believe resisters should be allowed to stay.)

Be on the lookout for a national day of vigils and actions at Canadian consulates nationwide if Corey is deported.

Corey Glass, 25, of Fairmount, Indiana went to Canada in August 2006 after serving five months in Iraq as a Military Intelligence Sergeant. “What I saw in Iraq convinced me that the war is illegal and immoral. I could not in good conscience continue to take part in it,” said Corey. “I came here because Canada did not join the Iraq War.”

On December 6, 2007, with Courage to Resist organizers in attendance, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration called on the Canadian Government to “immediately implement a program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members to apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and the government should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions against such individuals.”

It is estimated that several hundred Iraq War resisters are currently in Canada, many of them living underground.

“The Government should implement that recommendation immediately,” said author Lawrence Hill. “Corey Glass had the courage to listen to his conscience. He is working hard to build a new life in this country. He should be allowed to stay.”

With political refugee status attempts rejected by the Canadian Supreme Court last year, Corey appealed to be allowed to immigrate to Canada for “Humanitarian and Compassionate” reasons. All of the war resisters who have already been rejected as refugees have applied for this status.

“Many had hoped that the Canadian government might find this avenue as a face-saving measure that would allow some war resisters to remain in Canada, but not as refugees,” said Gerry Condon, Project Safe Haven.

Gerry Condon concluded, “The prognosis is that the status of U.S. war resisters in Canada will become more difficult. AWOL GI’s will still be able to enter Canada as visitors and apply for refugee status. Because each case is reviewed individually, this will gain them a de facto sanctuary, however temporary.”

It’s critical that supporters of GI resistance here in the U.S. get ready to step up our efforts. It’s inevitable that at least some of our U.S. war resisters in Canada will be coming home soon. They will be facing court martials and confinement, and what we do in response will effect these people’s lives, and the momentum of the GI resistance movement.

With contribution and content from the War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada)