On Monday, October 17th, 2016, CUSJ President Margaret Rao wrote to the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, urging him to let U.S. Iraq war resisters stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Here is the text of that letter:
Dear Mr. McCallum,
I am writing to you on behalf of Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ), a faith-based organization that advocates for peace and justice. Our 5th principle speaks to “the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” Canada has a proud history of welcoming U.S. conscientious objectors, a legacy begun by former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the father of the current Prime Minister, who stated that Canada should be “a haven from militarism”. In fact, the current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, stated himself last year, that he was committed “to restoring our sense of compassion and openness and a place that is a safe haven for people to come here”.
We, therefore, urge you to follow up on this commitment by immediately granting the long suffering U.S. Iraq war resisters leave to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. As Minister of Immigration you have the discretionary authority to grant these men and their families permanent residence in Canada. They have proven themselves to be upstanding members of Canadian society and they should be eligible for Canadian citizenship. It’s time to let these families get on with their lives, in peace and dignity.
Thank you for your attention and concern on this issue. We look forward to your response.
cc: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P. Prime Minister of Canada