corey glass safe for one more month, but our fight continues

Corey Glass, the Iraq War resister whose deportation is pending, is free to live in Canada for at least one more month. A long appeals process has been going on in court, and it was finally accepted last Friday.

But the fight to keep Corey and all the Iraq War resisters safe in Canada continues. We need to keep the issue visible. Your calls to the Prime Minister's office and to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, your letters to the editor in newspapers, and phone calls to your own MPs are vital.

From today's Toronto Star (emphasis added):
He was told to have his bags packed by this Thursday, but it appears U.S. war resister Corey Glass will remain in Canada for at least another month.

Initially ordered to leave the country by June 12, Glass's departure date has been extended to July 10, after a month-long appeal process by his lawyer was finally approved last week.

The former American soldier was set to become the first Iraq-war resister to be deported from Canada, after his application for refugee status was rejected more than two weeks ago.

Glass said his lawyer put forward the appeal so he would have sufficient time to properly settle his accounts and allow him to leave his job in a professional manner.

This week, all three opposition parties in the House of Commons passed a motion urging the government to allow U.S. military deserters and their families to remain in Canada as permanent residents – instead of deporting them to face possible jail time. The motion passed 137-110, but it is non-binding and the government can choose to ignore it.

The motion that was passed in parliament had nothing to do with Glass's extension.

New Democrat MP Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina), who brought the conscientious objector's motion forward, says Glass's extended stay is an opportunity for people to speak out, and ensure war resisters like Glass are not sent to prison.

In the late '80s, the Canadian government was planning to deport Vietnam draft dodgers and war resistors, Chow said.

"There was a huge outrage – it was phenomenal," she said.

That public outcry moved the government to reverse its decision, Chow said, adding it's the kind of response needed to ensure sanctuary for the estimated 100-plus American war resisters currently in Canada.

Through the counsel of his lawyer, Glass says he is planning to file for a three-year temporary resident visa, which may buy enough time for the outcome of the coming U.S. election to possibly change the consequences he will face at home. When he returns to the U.S., Glass will face jail time – a reality, he says, that will make his life a permanent struggle.

"I probably won't be able to get a job. I'll have a felony charge – I won't be able to vote," he said.

Glass said Wednesday's motion, and word that he'd been given an extra month in Canada, boosted his optimism.

"I feel like things are maybe going to turn around for the best," Glass said. "People are working really hard on this. I hope they'll be successful."

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley
finley.d@parl.gc.ca / finled1@parl.gc.ca

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Letters to your local newspaper, the Globe and Mail, the CBC, CTV and other media outlets are very helpful, too.


Alison said...

CTV has a poll up :
Should U.S. war resisters qualify for permanent resident status in Canada?
Currently : 61% YES; 39% NO

L-girl said...

Hi Alison, thanks. I linked to the poll on the previous thread. We've been plugging it by email all day. :)

Alison said...

Doh. I shoulda checked first.
But I just received an email about it so I guess it's working!

L-girl said...

Hey, no problem! I'm glad to know it's getting around. We're trying to keep the issue visible and this is one more way. So thank you!

Cornelia said...

Sometimes it is already heplpful to win more time in refugee cases and - of course to get them sorted out successfully in the meantime!
We will definitely continue to stand up for them.