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General News of Thursday, 27 September 2018


More clarity needed on deportation of 7000 Ghanaians from US – Apaak

NDC Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, is unhappy that Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee was not formally informed about Ghana’s agreement with the United States of America (US) to deport some 7000 Ghanaians.

Dr. Apaak, a Member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said “we would have wished that we were properly informed as a committee.”

Be that as it may, he acknowledged that “it is good that an agreement has been reached between the two governments.”

That said, the opposition National Democratic Congress legislator maintained that “very important” questions remain that the government has to clarify on the deportation.

“Simply saying the there is an agreement is not enough,” he said.

“If you say that an agreement has been reached, what does that mean? Is it the US that is going to bear the cost of repatriating these 7000 Ghanaians or is it the Ghanaian taxpayer who is going to bear the cost? Under what conditions are they coming, what are the charges against them, the status of the flight” he asked.

Mr. Apaak also questioned if there was a plan for rehabilitating the deportees.

“If they were in the US, were some of them being deported? Were some of them involved in conducts that can be detrimental to our well-being in Ghana? Are we going to hold them somewhere, debrief them before we let them reintegrate into society, and if that is even the case, is there a plan to help them to adjust?”

Indications from as far back as 2017 indicated that 7,000 Ghanaians were facing deportation.

The then-US ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, said the 7,000 were guilty of various immigration offenses and had abused the terms of their visas.

At the time, he said the Ghanaians were at different stages of the deportation process.

“In fact, about 7,000 of them are currently at different stages of the deportation process. And we are not apologetic about that,” he told the Ghanaian media in 2017.

Robert Jackson was also invited by the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament to answer to the allegations surrounding the deportation of the Ghanaians from the US.

Ghana’s Ambassador to the US, Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Bawuah, had also suggested that he was under pressure from US authorities to sanction the deportation of Ghanaians.

Those revelations came amid accusations that the US was trying to bully Ghana by the threatening visa restrictions.

Robert Jackson retorted that the US was only seeking to enforce its immigration rules and not to threaten Ghana with visa restrictions.