General News of Monday, 24 February 2014

Source: The Finder

Immigration cries for border fencing

Ghana needs coherent border management systems in order to check the influx of illegal immigrants into the country.

In line with this, the country needs to construct a considerable length of fence fitted with CCTV cameras and other devices to enhance border management system.

Ghana has 42 approved borders, comprising 36 minor borders, two sea ports, four major borders, including one airport.

Ghana's emerging economy as a result of the oil find has attracted an increasing number of foreigners, including illegal immigrants, into the country to seek greener pastures.

Head of Public Affairs at the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Assistant Comptroller of Immigration (ACOI) Francis Palmdeti told The Finder that a co-ordinated border management system was needed to control the flow of illegal foreigners into the country.

He blamed the influx on weak border management systems for years.

According to him, Ghana cannot boast of one foot of border fencing, which is an important border management strategy.

Mr Palmdeti noted that a solid border infrastructure in an unstable sub-region was critical not only to check criminals from entering the country, but also to check economic migrants attracted by the stability and Ghana’s economic growth.

Act 573 and L.I. 1691 vest power in the Ghana Immigration Service officers to be the designated officers in Ghana’s embassies to issue visa, which is not the case currently.

He emphasised the need to take borders to the source country, which means immigration officers should be the ones issuing visas in Ghana’s embassies.

However, no Ghana embassy worldwide has a single immigration officer issuing visas to travellers to Ghana. Immigration officers only get into contact with travellers at the point of entry.

Consequently, lots of visas issued to travellers to Ghana have been found to be wrongly issued.