US deserter not happy with the deportation order
One of the US war deserters who had been ordered to back home by the Canadian government will file a new appeal in the Federal Court of Canada, his lawyer said on Thursday.
Jeremy Hinzman is the first US war deserter in recent years who had applied for refugee status in Canada. However, the immigration authorities determined that if he was to be sent back to the US, then he will not face any persecution of hardship in the United States. Following this, he was told by the authorities that he and his family have to leave Canada by September 23, 2008.
Lee Zaslofsky of the War Resisters Support Campaign said that the government is acting as an enforcement agent for the Pentagon. Zaslofsky is himself a US war deserter of the Vietnam War-era and has since then become a Canadian.
Alyssa Manning, Hinzman’s lawyer said that the decision by the authorities on whether he will face hardship did not take into consideration the effect on his family if in case Hinzman ended up in prison, and therefore an appeal will be made.
The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Hinzman in November based on the determinations that he is not actually a refugee who needs protection. In 2004, Hinzman deserted the US army after he received orders to go to Iraq. Due to his desertion, if he returns to the US, he may face court martial and can be sentenced up to five years in prison. This possibility seems to be even more firm as another US deserter, Robin Long, who was deported in July is in jail in Colorado.
Canada was a sort of heaven for thousands of US draft dodgers during the Vietnam War and it attracted almost 175 to 200 Americans who were against the Iraq War. However, on clear distinction that has been drawn over the issue is the fact that Hinzman and other deserters who came to Canada in the last few years were volunteers and not conscripts, as was the case during the Vietnam War.