In New York state's alt-weekly Metroland, David King journeys into the unknown world of American war resisters in Canada.
Zaslofsky notes that being granted sanctuary in Canada as a war resister is much more difficult now than it was during the Vietnam War era. Despite that, he says, life as a war resister in Canada these days is not as grueling and difficult as one might expect. "When they make refugee claims, they apply for a work permit. After the red tape, they get access to health care."
And thank goodness for that!
Zaslofsky notes that a number of resisters have been in Canada for two years now and have become pretty well integrated into society. It is simply a matter of applying for amnesty and appealing court decisions. "When they get a negative decision, we will appeal it to the courts," he says, "and that will take years. Some have been here two and a half years now, living and working. They are not rich or anything…"
The number of AWOL soldiers and military families in Canada is pretty negligible, but as King finds, they're pretty safe from extradition.