|By Marketwire .||
|September 17, 2012 10:40 PM EDT||
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 09/18/12 -- With only two days left before Kimberly Rivera and her family, including two Canadian children, must leave Canada or be deported, supporters of the US Iraq War resister will be holding a media conference on Tuesday to demand that Jason Kenney stop delaying and decide on the Rivera family's application to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (H&C).
What: Media conference in support of Iraq War resister Kimberly Rivera Who: Chuck Wiley, Iraq War resister; Bill King, Vietnam War resister & Artistic Director, Beaches International Jazz Festival; Father Paul Hansen, Catholic priest; Michelle Robidoux, spokesperson, War Resisters Support Campaign. When: Tuesday, September 18 - 2:30 p.m. EDT Where: Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON
On Friday, September 14, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) issued a decision saying the removal of the Rivera family would not be deferred because the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will not be making a decision in the Riveras' application for humanitarian and compassionate consideration any time soon.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) guidelines say that decisions on H&C grounds applications should take an average of 36 months. Given the special attention that CIC has put on the cases of US war resister, as indicated by Operational Bulletin 202 (http://www.resisters.ca/2010.09.29-Embassy_WithdrawUSWarResisterBulletin.pdf), the fact that no decision has been made 3 years after Kimberly Rivera's H&C application was submitted suggests that the Minister is dragging this case out.
In 2010, the Federal Court of Appeal found that evidence of conscientious objection is an important matter which must be considered in a humanitarian and compassionate grounds application.
Instead of deciding H&C grounds applications per the court's decision, Minister Kenney has interfered in the process by issuing a prejudicial operational directive that "misstates the law and seeks to intrude on the independence of" decision-makers by requiring immigration officers to "seek guidance" from headquarters regarding the files of Iraq War resisters, and he is now trying to deport the Rivera family without a H&C grounds application decision.