Corey Glass, an Iraq veteran who deserted the National Guard and fled to Canada, can stay in Canada while his legal case unfolds.
A federal court on Wednesday granted a U.S. war resister a stay of removal, allowing him to remain in Canada while his legal case unfolds.
Corey Glass, an Iraq veteran who deserted the National Guard and fled to Canada in 2006, had been scheduled to be deported to the United States on Thursday.
Glass, 25, can stay in Canada while the court reviews and decides on his applications for leave and judicial review — processes his lawyer said could take months.
Glass told CBC News that he had his bags packed and had moved out of his apartment, ready to be deported.
"I was shocked. I was just enjoying my last little bit of time I had in Canada," he said.
But the ruling comes on the heels of a news report that questioned whether Glass is actually a war resister.
ABC News reported recently that according to U.S. Army documents and officials, Glass was actually discharged from the California National Guard Dec. 1, 2006, four months after he arrived in Canada.
"He is not considered absent without leave. He is not considered a deserter," Maj. Nathan Banks, an Army spokesman told ABC News. "He is running for no reason. He is fully welcome in the United States. I cannot believe this is a big deal in Canada."
But Glass disputed Banks' interpretation of his status.
He said that he hasn't received his DD Form 214, the official discharge form, from the U.S. military. Glass added that while he was discharged from the California National Guard, he was transferred to the individual ready reserve, a federal branch of the military, meaning he could be called up for active duty and could still face prosecution for desertion.
He said that following the news report, he spoke with a U.S. Judge Advocate General and a civilian lawyer who said he's still facing punishment.
"I'm still in the same situation I was in before," he said.
Meanwhile in Washington, a group of protesters gathered Wednesday outside the Canadian Embassy to show support for Glass and fellow war resisters who have sought refuge in Canada.
The demonstrators thanked Canadians who support their cause and called on the Canadian government to end its efforts to deport war resisters.