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New immigration directive targets US Iraq war resisters

by War Resisters Support Campaign - Vancouver


Aug 3rd 2010

A new Operational Bulletin published on Citizenship and Immigration
Canada’s website is singling out Iraq War resisters seeking refuge in Canada.

The directive states that “persons who have deserted the military in their
country of origin may be inadmissible to Canada under section 36(1)(b) or
36(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.… The current
inventory of military deserter cases is comprised primarily of members of
the United States armed forces who have claimed refugee protection in Canada

The bulletin goes on to instruct immigration officers to contact their
Regional Program Advisor for guidance when processing applications for
permanent residence in Canada made by military deserters. It also instructs
them to notify Case Management Branch of any new refugee claims or updates
to these claims, “using the existing guidelines on processing high profile,
contentious and sensitive cases.”

This directive comes on the heels of a unanimous decision July 6th by the
Federal Court of Appeal which ruled that immigration officers cannot ignore
a soldier’s beliefs and motivations when deciding on applications for
permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.

It also comes only weeks before a vote on second reading of Bill C-440, the
War Resisters bill, introduced by MP Gerard Kennedy. If passed, the bill
would allow US Iraq War resisters to apply for permanent resident status
from within Canada. The introduction of Bill C-440 is a significant step in
the fight to allow U.S. Iraq war resisters to stay in Canada. The Bill,
which follows on two concurrence motions which were passed in the House of
Commons, represents the will of Parliament and the democratic will of
Canadians.

The new directive from Citizenship and Immigration Canada is a worrying sign
that the federal government is preparing to throw more obstacles at US Iraq
War resisters as the bill moves forward in Parliament.

Urge your Member of Parliament to support Bill C-440

Please take a moment and use our online form to send an email
<http://letthemstay.ca/action/email-your-mp/>  to your Member of Parliament,
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Jason Kenney.

You can also phone or fax them at:

• The Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
Fax: 613.992.1920
Phone: 613.954.1064 (Ministry office) or 613.992.2235 (Parliamentary office)
email: minister@cic.gc.ca AND kenney.j@parl.gc.ca

• The Right Hon. Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa K1A 0A2
Fax: 613.941.6900
Phone: 613.992.4211
E-mail: pm@pm.gc.ca

To find the contact information for your MP, go to the House of Commons
search page <http://www2.parl.gc
ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC>
and enter your postal code.

See press release on the new directive from CIC here <http://letthemstay
ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Rel-2010.08
03-NewImmigrationDirectiveTargetsUSIraqWarResisters.pdf>

War Resisters Support Campaign
Vancouver

http://vancouverwarresisters.org

Tel: 778-837-1475

c/o 1143 E Pender St
Vancouver BC V6A 1W6

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