Kimberly Rivera, a U.S. Army private who fled to Canada to escape further service in the Iraq War, was arrested at the U.S. border on Thursday. The mother of four children may now face between two to five years in jail.
Rivera lost a deportation case in Canada, where she spent five years with her family. She was recently ordered to leave the country, reports the Associated Press.
Rivera served in Iraq in 2006, but became disillusioned with the occupation. Rather than face another tour of duty in 2007, she decided to move to Canada where she applied for refugee status.
The War Resisters Support Campaign, a Canadian non-profit organization that helps U.S. military personnel who refused to participate in the Iraq war, launched a campaign in support for Rivera with 19,000+ people signing an online petition protesting her deportation order.
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However, Canadian immigration authorities said they don’t believe Rivera would be subjected to persecution and ordered her to leave. They were wrong.
On Thursday, Rivera handed herself in to authorities at the U.S. border. She was then arrested and transferred to military custody, reports the ,Associated Press.
Rivera told reporters last month that her biggest fear about being deported was being separated from her four children.