Whew. Cliff Cornell's deportation date has been deferred until January 22, thanks to his lawyer, who moved fast and skillfully, and to all of you who wrote, called, and emailed Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
The deferral gives Cliff's lawyer time to prepare a court challenge - and it gives us more time to mobilize support for Cliff and the other war resisters threatened with deportation.
January 7: Kim Rivera and her family, including newborn daughter Katie, will receive a decision on their Pre-Removal Risk Assessment and Humanitarian and Compassionate Application. We hope it will be a positive one, but our experience is that it is likely to be another deportation date.
January 15: Patrick and Jill Hart and their 6-year old son Rian are supposed to leave Canada or face deportation. They are working with their lawyer to get a court hearing or other postponement. So far no word on that.
January 22: Cliff Cornell is supposed to leave Canada or face deportation.
January 30: Dean Walcott is supposed to leave Canada or face deportation.
February 10: the Federal Court will hear Jeremy Hinzman's appeal against the negative decision on their Pre-Removal Risk Assessment and Humanitarian and Compassionate Application. The court decision could come at any time after that. If it is positive, the Hinzmans may be allowed to make a new PRRA or H&C application. If it is negative, they will receive a new deportation date.
Matt Lowell has also been granted a stay of deportation while the Federal Court decides whether to hear his appeal. So far no decision on that has been made.
At year's end, there will have been only one deportation of a war resister who has been assisted by the War Resister Support Campaign: Robin Long. (Another resister has been deported, but we never had the opportunity to work with him.) Those two are two too many, but it is wonderful that the others are still here with us, despite a Government intent on deporting them.
If you are in Toronto, perhaps you will join war resisters and their supporters tomorrow, Tuesday, December 23, for a brief vigil. We will meet from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the corner of University and Armoury, across from the US Consulate.
But no matter where you are, keep in your thoughts our friend Robin Long, who spends this holiday season in a US military prison.