(TORONTO) — Army veteran Kimberly Rivera is due to return to the U.S. by Sept. 20 but not because she wants to.
She has lived in Toronto since 2007 after having served as an Army private in Iraq in 2006. When she was ordered redeployed to the war zone, Rivera became the first woman in history to flee the U.S. military for Canada where she was joined by her family.
According to the War Resisters Support Campaign, the Canada Border Services Agency said that Rivera must go back to the U.S., apparently not believing that she will receive a stiff punishment for desertion.
However, Robin Long and Clifford Cornell, two American war resisters deported to the U.S., wound up facing year-long jail sentences because they refused deployment to Iraq.
Rivera initially applied for refugee status and has since appealed to stay in Canada on a humanitarian compassionate grounds claim. It’s expected she will fight her deportation through the courts.
Rivera is married with four children, two of whom were born in Canada.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN
Lorenzo Ferrigno, CNN