US

US soldiers opting out of war finding Canada less hospitable than Vietnam-era resisters

  • FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2006 file photo, Army Sgt. Patrick Hart poses for a photo in Toronto. In 2006 Hart had deserted the Army and was living as a "war resister" in Canada. Since then, he turned himself in to the U.S. Army, was convicted of desertion and served time in a military prison. (AP Photo/Harry Rosettani, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2006 file photo, Army Sgt. Patrick Hart poses for a photo in Toronto. In 2006 Hart had deserted the Army and was living as a "war resister" in Canada. Since then, he turned himself in to the U.S. Army, was convicted of desertion and served time in a military prison. (AP Photo/Harry Rosettani, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 14, 2008, file photo, members of the War Resisters Support Campaign hold a demonstration in support of U.S. Army deserter Robin Long outside Federal Court in Vancouver, B.C. Canada has developed a much less hospitable reputation than it once had, and supporters say that no U.S. soldier who has filed a claim to legally stay in Canada over the past 10 years has been successful. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck, File)

    FILE - In this July 14, 2008, file photo, members of the War Resisters Support Campaign hold a demonstration in support of U.S. Army deserter Robin Long outside Federal Court in Vancouver, B.C. Canada has developed a much less hospitable reputation than it once had, and supporters say that no U.S. soldier who has filed a claim to legally stay in Canada over the past 10 years has been successful. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2012, file photo, war resister Kim Rivera, who fled the U.S. military in order to avoid the war in Iraq, poses for a photo in her Toronto home, before being deported back to the United States. Canada has developed a much less hospitable reputation for resisters than it once had. Supporters say that no U.S. soldier who has filed a claim to legally stay in Canada over the past 10 years has been successful. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Michelle Siu, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2012, file photo, war resister Kim Rivera, who fled the U.S. military in order to avoid the war in Iraq, poses for a photo in her Toronto home, before being deported back to the United States. Canada has developed a much less hospitable reputation for resisters than it once had. Supporters say that no U.S. soldier who has filed a claim to legally stay in Canada over the past 10 years has been successful. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Michelle Siu, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.