Iraq War Resister Sergeant Patrick Hart and his family were informed this week that they must voluntarily leave Canada or face deportation to the United States on October 30. The Hart’s refugee application was rejected by the Canadian Immigration Refugee Board. It is estimated that there are at least 200 war resisters living in Canada. In July of this year the Canadian parliament passed a non binding motion in support of Iraq War resisters being allowed to stay in Canada. Despite this, Canada Border Services Agency, continues to routinely effect deportation orders of US-Iraq war resisters.
US war resister faces deportation
Producer: Zaa Nkweta
ZAA NKWETA, TRNN: Iraq War resister Sgt. Patrick Hart and his family were informed this week that they must voluntarily leave Canada or face deportation to the United States on October 30. The Harts’ refugee application was rejected by the Canadian Immigration Refugee Board.
JILL HART, WIFE OF WAR RESISTER PATRICK HART: We expected this. We’ve always, for the last three years, have been cautiously optimistic. And while, you know, this situation, I always say, you know, they can break our hearts, but they can’t break our spirit.
NKWETA: Sgt. Patrick Hart was redeployed to Iraq in August 2005. After listening to reports from fellow soldiers about their experiences in Iraq, he decided to go AWOL and fled to Canada.
PATRICK HART, WAR RESISTER: I was hearing from a lot of soldiers returning back from convoys. And now, with the technological age that it is, soldiers having little cameras and video recorders would take footage of what was actually going on in Iraq—guys running over Iraqi children in their Humvees and military vehicles. And I was like, “Well, how come you’re running over these kids? I thought you guys were, like, handing out water and MREs [Meal, Ready-to-Eat] to these kids and, you know, candy and stuff like that.” And the one guy said, “Well, we were, but since the insurgency’s picked up, we’ve been ordered to no longer stop our convoys. We just keep going.” And apparently the kids didn’t get that memo, so they were getting run over. And one of his buddies that had said to him, “Oh,” you know, “don’t even worry about it. I don’t know how many Iraqi kids’ hair and teeth I’ve picked out of the front of my grill. Iraqi kids ain’t nothing but speedbumps to me.”
NKWETA: Patrick Hart is not alone. It is estimated that there are at least 200 war resisters living in Canada. In July of this year, the Canadian Parliament passed a non-binding motion in support of Iraq War resisters being allowed to stay in Canada. Despite this, Canada Border Services Agency continues to routinely effect deportation orders of Iraq War resisters. Hart’s lawyer, Alyssa Manning, believes that there were errors with the assessment.
ALYSSA MANNING, IMMIGRATION LAWYER: A review of the reasons actually reveals that there are errors in the analysis on the Harts’ files. For example, there is not one mention to Jill Hart in the agency decision. She’s one of the main applicants in the case, and yet the officer does not make one reference to whether or not she would suffer hardship being sent back to the United States and being separated from her husband while he’s in prison. Also, the analysis on the best interests of the child seems to be completely inadequate, and it actually doesn’t address whether or not Ryan Hart, whether or not removal to the United States is in his best interest. So I believe that there are clear errors, certainly, in the humanitarian and compassionate grounds decision. The Harts will certainly be requesting judicial review.
P. HART: With this being an illegal war, I feel like I would be in violation of the Geneva Convention by participating any further in this aggressive war on the Iraqi people.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.