Gov’t Verifying Deportees’ ID – Ayorkor
The government of Ghana is going through the right process to verify the identities of some 7,000 people, thought to be Ghanaians in the United States, facing deportation, the West African country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has said.
The U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, has revealed that Ghanaians are the fifth highest in the world as far as the U.S. deportation list is concerned.
“Almost 7,000 Ghanaians in the U.S. are facing deportation”, Mr Jackson told journalists recently, adding: “And may I add; the number of Ghanaians in the U.S. facing deportation is the fifth highest number in the world after China, India, Russia and The Philippines, all of whom have much larger populations, so, let’s deal with this problem and get it out of the bilateral relationship”.
Mr Jackson said he is not happy about how the Government of Ghana and the Ghanaian Embassy in the U.S. is handling the deportation issue, which compelled his office to issue a statement on Thursday warning of visa restrictions against Ghana if the deportation concerns were not resolved.
He, however, clarified that: “The statement that the U.S. Embassy issued saying that Ghana could face visa sanctions is not a threat and I don’t want it to be a threat. What I want is for the Embassy of Ghana in the U.S. to interview one person facing deportation and issue one travel document every business day, if the embassy does that, we will solve this problem and it’s nothing more complicated than that”.
“I’ve been talking with the Government of Ghana over this for over two years, this is not hasty, I’ve talked to members of parliament, I’ve talked to people in the old government, I’ve talked to people in the current government, I am acting on instructions, this is not something that I initiated but we will enforce our immigration laws”, Mr Jackson insisted.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it remained committed to ensuring that all challenges are resolved.
“The ministry wishes to place on record that it continues to engage its missions in the United States of America on the matter, and has already communicated their concerns to the U.S. Embassy in Ghana about the need to do due diligence and establish the nationality of the deportees before they are issued with travel documents.”
“In the spirit of cooperation, therefore, the Ghana Missions have the obligations to ensure that the right processes are followed to verify the identities of subjects for deportation, in order to avert challenges with the Ghana Immigration Service upon the arrival of the latter.”
“This ministry wishes to indicate its continued commitment to ensuring that the relevant measures are put in place to resolve any logistical and personnel constraints,” the statement added.