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General News of Thursday, 3 November 2016


America not obliged to pay deportees – Antwi-Danso

The United States of America is not obliged to give money to illegal Ghanaian deportees, International Relations Analyst and Director at the Ghana Armed Forces Command College Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso has said.

“As far as I know in such deportations, there are rules, regulations and what not. Nobody will give you a dime when you have been arrested on the street and you are bound to be deported. Nobody is going to go to the bank and give you any money. They are not obliged to you in anyway. If your government hears of it and is prepared to help you probably they may rush to your aid and give you something but if they do not hear about it or if it is done in such a way that you are being taken away on the next available plane, nobody gives you a dime. It is an unfortunate situation, people are arrested on the street and they are bound to their home countries that way so that is the situation. You do not expect the US government to spend a dime on anybody who is illegal who they do not have any obligation to” he said on 12 Live on Class 91.3FM on Thursday, November 3.

Dr Atwi-Danso’s remarks follow the deportation of some 54 Ghanaians from the United States of America who arrived at the Kotoka International Airport on Wednesday November 2.

Some complained that the US authorities did not give them any money for deporting them and as such were left stranded in Accra.

The deportees refused to disembark from the plane that transported them from that country to Ghana due to what they described as inhumane treatment meted out to them by US authorities.

They claimed the US officials were being hypocritical in their deportation as they were not treated with dignity while on board the plane en route to Accra.

Some of them, who spoke to Class 91.3FM’s Atiewin Mbillah in an interview on Wednesday November 2, said although their deportation had nothing to do with criminal issues but immigration challenges, they were handcuffed and treated as criminals by the US authorities in the US state of Louisiana and even while on board the plane.

According to them, when they reached the Kotoka International Airport, the authorities attempted to take off the handcuffs to create the impression that they were treated with respect, an act they thought was hypocritical.

One of the deportees said: “They (US authorities) handcuffed us, they handcuffed us before we boarded the plane. That is why we say we are not getting down unless they allow us to get down with the handcuffs for everybody to see how they have been treating us. That is why we said no, we are not getting down… They called some immigration officers (at the airport) to come and talk to us but we said no we want to come down with the handcuffs on and so they said we should come down. They handcuffed us in the United States. My waist, hands and my legs were all cuffed. Both legs [were cuffed], so you cannot even walk, you cannot eat, you cannot do anything.”

Another deportee narrated: “We have been handcuffed from Monday to today, a lot of people here (Kotoka Airport) today saw it. If you think I am lying you can ask the people around. If you want to urinate you struggle in the handcuff before passing urine.”

Another disgruntled deportee indicated: “We all left Ghana to America to go and better our future, so we passed through Brazil to Colombia and some of us even died on the way… Now the people handcuffed us, they only gave us bread and water from morning till evening, so when we came here (Kotoka) a lot of the people were fighting them that: ‘You cannot deport us empty-handed; we need money to go home [with].’”

Dr Antwi-Danso described the situation as unfortunate but called for thorough investigation into the matter before judgment is passed on the American authorities.