One of the first U.S. army deserters from Iraq to seek refugee status in Canada has been ordered deported.
Jeremy Hinzman deserted the army in 2004, two years after enlisting. After learning his unit was to be deployed to Iraq, he refused to participate in what he calls an immoral and illegal war.
Hinzman fled to Canada along with his wife and son and sought refugee status.
Outside the Canada Border Services Agency office in Mississauga, Ont., where the order came down Wednesday, Hinzman said he was disappointed but added he still thinks he did the right thing.
“Life goes on and we’ll make the most of it wherever we end up,” he said.
He has been ordered out of the country by Sept. 23.
The Immigration and Refugee Board rejected his claim in 2005 and the Federal Court of Appeal held that he wouldn’t face any serious punishment if returned to the United States.
Hinzman, who lives in Toronto, could face a court martial and five years in prison upon his return to the United States.