On September 20, my husband and I, and our four young children, could be deported from Canada. Across the border, I would be taken into custody, separated from my family, and likely put in a military prison for years: all because I opposed the war in Iraq.
My name is Kimberly Rivera. I joined the U.S. Army when I was 24. At the time, I thought the war in Iraq was a good thing. I thought it would make our country safer and bring democracy to Iraq.
Once I was stationed in Iraq, I realized I had been lied to. I saw the true face of war: countless civilian casualties, and Iraqi children left devastated by loss and filled with fear. We were not bringing freedom to Iraq; we were bringing needless pain and suffering and death. How could I look my children in the eye and tell them to be good people, when I was contributing to causing harm and death to innocent people on the other side of the world?
As this became clear to me, my conscience would no longer let me participate in the war in Iraq.
In 2007, my family and I came to Canada, where I applied for refugee status. Since that time, I have become active in my community in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto. I speak out against the war in Iraq - and for peace - at every opportunity. Mario and I now have four beautiful children, two of them born in Canada.
We ask for only one thing: to continue to live our lives in Canada. We want our children to grow up in a peaceful country that values tolerance, respect, and community. Please sign this letter asking Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to stop my deportation.
My family and I thank you for responding to our urgent request for help.
Desmond Tutu: Don’t deport war resister Kimberly Rivera | The Globe and Mail
Video: Iraq War resister speaks out after deportation order | Toronto Star
Parkdale rallies to support war resister | Parkdale Liberty Villager
Kimberly Rivera ordered to leave country by Sept. 20 | Associated Press via CBC
Kimberly Rivera, Iraq War Resister, Discussing Options After Being Ordered To Leave Canada | The Canadian Press via Huffington Post
Resisters of a 'dumb' war | Toronto Star editorial
Video: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper admits the Iraq War was "absolutely an error"
Dodging war: Who's the hero? - by Noah Richler | The Globe and Mail