The first woman soldier to flee the U.S. military for Canada to avoid the Iraq war said Wednesday that Canadian authorities have ordered that she be deported this month along with her husband and their children.
Kimberly Rivera said her requests to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds were rejected. The family must leave Canada by Jan. 27 unless the order is reversed.
Rivera, a private first class in the Army based at Fort Carson, Colo., served in Iraq in 2006 and came to Canada the following year after she was ordered to serve another tour there. She could be court-martialed when she returns to the U.S. and could face up to five years in prison.
She lives in Toronto with her husband and three children — the youngest is 6 weeks old and was born in Canada.
Rivera said she would discuss her options with her husband and supporters but felt she had come to the "end of the road."
The group War Resisters Support Campaign says four other American military personnel and their families face deportation in January.
In July, Robin Long became the first American deserter removed by Canadian authorities. Long, who was also stationed at Fort Carson, was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of desertion.
The lower house of Canada's Parliament passed a nonbinding motion in June urging that U.S. military deserters be allowed to stay in Canada, but the Conservative Party government ignored the vote.
During the Vietnam War, up to 90,000 Americans won refuge in Canada, most of them to avoid the military draft. Many were given permanent residence status that led to Canadian citizenship, but the majority went home after President Jimmy Carter granted amnesty in the late 1970s.