TORONTO -- A U.S. soldier who fled to Canada to avoid the war in Iraq has been arrested and detained at the U.S. border after losing her deportation case.
Kimberly Rivera, who lived in Canada for five years with her husband and four children, was issued a deportation order last month and given until Sept. 20 to leave the country.
The War Resisters Support Campaign said in a statement Thursday that Rivera presented herself at the U.S. border on Thursday and was arrested and transferred to military custody. They said her family crossed separately so her kids wouldn't see her arrested.
Rivera, a 30-year-old Army private, served in Iraq in 2006. She said she became disillusioned with the mission. She crossed the border into Canada while on leave in February 2007, after she was ordered to serve another tour there. After arriving in Canada on leave, she applied for refugee status.
Roughly 19,000 people signed an online petition protesting her deportation order and rallies were held in a number of Canadian cities Wednesday.
calling on the government to let Rivera stay in the country.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the American veterans organization Veterans for Peace have also spoken out against the deportation.