U.S. Iraq Vets Make Asylum Case in Canada Court
Posted May 9, 2007 7:11 PM CST
By Martha Neil
Arguing that the U.S. war on Iraq is illegal, a Canadian lawyer is now seeking asylum there for some three dozen American soldiers who have deserted their units and fled to America's northern neighbor.
The situation may seem reminiscent of so-called draft dodgers going to Canada decades ago rather than serve in the Vietnam War. But there's one big difference: U.S. soldiers in Iraq are part of an all-volunteer army, points out ABC news.
Jeffry House, a Toronto lawyer who himself came to Canada in the 1970s rather than serve in Vietnam after being drafted, hasn't won this argument with Canadian immigration authorities, ABC reports. But he is now pursuing the same tack with Canada's federal court, which hasn't yet ruled on the issue, contending that the deserters face persecution if they are sent back to the U.S. The attorney estimates 300 American deserters are now living in Canada.