KIMBERLY RIVERA, 30, AN AMERICAN ARMY DESERTER LIVING SINCE 2007 IN TORONTO, CANADA WITH HER HUSBAND AND FOUR CHILDREN, WAS DEPORTED TO THE U.S. SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 BY CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY (CBSA).
She initially arrived in Canada with her husband and then two children in 2007 while on leave between deployments during the Iraq war and then applied for refugee status and permanent residency.
Rivera was arrested at the border by DHS/ICE and turned over to military custody which placed her in the brig at Fort Drum, NY. She was later transferred to the Lewis County jail in Lowville, NY. She faces a court martial and imprisonment from two to five years. Her husband and now four children, two born in Canada (Gabriel w/Rivera below center), crossed the border separately later so they would not see their mother arrested.
Rivera, the first female U.S. Army war deserter/resister, did not want to serve in Iraq after a 2006 deployment. Her compassionate and humanitarian grounds claim for residency in Canada is still pending but may now be moot. The CBSA did not believe she will face harsh penalties in the U.S. Two other Iraq war resister deported from Canada to the U.S., Robin Long and Clifford Cornell, served one year jail sentences upon their return.
Canada is no longer the haven it was for the Viet Nam era U.S. Army draft dodgers and deserters.