reports Chris Doucette of the Toronto Sun:
U.S. ARMY deserter Jeremy Hinzman admits the idea of an American claiming refugee status in Canada sounds "preposterous." But the paratrooper remains convinced he and his family will be persecuted if he is sent home to face the music for going AWOL on the eve of his unit's deployment to Iraq.
The 26-year-old's three-day refugee hearing wrapped up in Toronto yesterday. Afterward, Hinzman said he believes his life would be at risk in a military prison -- and the danger likely wouldn't end once he had completed the estimated one- to five-year sentence he could end up serving.
"I think we all know the climate of the States right now is kind of hostile to any sort of dissent," Hinzman said, explaining he expects he would encounter "social persecution" that would make just finding a job difficult.
What I fail to comprehend is why this young man thinks dissent should come with a free ticket to ride. Though I have to give him credit for pretty much getting a free ticket up to now. He voluntarily joined the US Army primarily for the government funded college education -- never sparing a moment of thought for the implications of what a life based on soldiering means. In return he received subsidized housing, food, medical & dental benefits and a pay cheque. When the US army required him to deploy to Iraq, he packed his family and hightailed it for the Canadian border. Responsibilities, obligations, commitments, and honour be damned - I'm off to fleece another land.
He's arrived in Canada and has never had to hold down a job, and yet; he still has found a means to provide his family with an apartment, food and clothing. He has a lawyer willing to take on the job of defending him and receives donations via his own website.
In his own words:
"I've been here almost a year and it feels like home. I love it here," he said, adding he would like to attend university in Toronto.
Well, why wouldn't he? It's a Scamada after his own heart and the potential for more is limited simply by your imagination.