When Army Sgt. Patrick Hart went to Canada a decade ago rather than serve in the war in Iraq, he expected to be welcomed the same way as thousands of American military war resisters during the Vietnam era.

Instead, after five years of wrangling with the Canadian immigration system, he came back to the U.S. — and ended up in military prison.

Canada has developed a much less hospitable reputation than it once had. Supporters say no U.S. soldier who has filed a claim to legally stay in Canada over the past 10 years has been successful.

With an estimated two dozen soldiers still waiting out their fate in Canada, the resisters' movement is seen as nearing a crossroads. With a national election in October, supporters are hopeful for a Liberal Party victory and more sympathetic stance.