…As Donald Trump readies to deport 7,000 Ghanaians
It has been barely three months since the Minister for Foreign Affairs told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that she would pursue a policy of negotiations with foreign governments which are hosts to Ghanaians living illegally in their countries to send them back home.
Indeed, at her vetting in January, this year, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, had fancifully claimed that, “things are not bad” in Ghana and therefore urged the many Ghanaians who are illegal immigrants in foreign countries to return home.
Well that statement was like a wish upon a star and it has come true for some 7,000 Ghanaians living in the United States.
A news item by Nairobi-based CGTN on the issue of President Donald Trump’s fervent preparation to throw back the 7,000 Ghanaians is already trending on Social Media, and from all indications, the forced exodus of Ghanaians ‘back to Bataan’ will surely come to pass.
What is not immediately clear is whether these 7,000 Ghanaians will also be brought back in chains, as had been the case of some 100 Ghanaian deportees from the US in November, last year.
Already, anger has been kindled against the Foreign Affairs Minister in some sections of Social Media in the wake of the news about the impending deportations, with some livid Ghanaians urging the would-be deportees to go straight and camp in the minister’s house when they touch down on terra firma.
The general sentiment is that when the Foreign Affairs Minister shot off her mouth the way she did about Ghanaian immigrants at her vetting, she had inspired US President Donald Trump to seek out Ghanaians.
Her reference of them as illegal immigrants had been derogatory, as it was a diplomatic blunder, in that it meant that the government was admitting to the fact that most Ghanaian emigrants in foreign countries were crooks.
CTRGN’s Washington correspondent, Daniel Ryntjes, is heard reporting in the news clip that has gone viral that President Trump is deploying a very pedantic tactic to fish out Ghanaian illegal immigrants to the US, so that even arrests for drunk-driving, for instance, will be opportune for checking out the background and immigration status of the arrested.
The 7,000 Ghanaians likely to be deported, he said, are mostly people who have overstayed their visa permits without renewal.
Mr. Ryntjes points out that forced deportations are disheartening because they wrench families and loved ones apart.
Interestingly, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister did not consider this when she announced at her vetting that she will negotiate with foreign countries to send back illegal Ghanaian immigrants to Ghana.
According to her, “Ghana is not bad.” The truth however is that, Ghana is a place of serious unemployment with university graduates constrained to form an association called, “Unemployed Graduates Association.”
It is not clear how the minister and her government plan to create opportunities for the would-be deportees to serve in a country where even legislators indulge in visa fraud to help their friends and family members escape the country.
Indeed, the CTRGN report references the fact that the US deportations are coming at a time that the UK has blacklisted three serving MPs for visa fraud. A fourth is a former MP.
According to the same report, there are about 2.2 million Africans living in the US, 235,000 of who are Ghanaians.
The story reported that many of these Ghanaians live as illegal immigrants, not because they enter the US illegally, but that they fail to renew their papers after their visas have been exhausted.
Meanwhile, the story about the US intent to deport 7,000 Ghanaians has sparked a call for Ghana to return two former Guantanamo Bay detainees that the US had brought to Ghana for rehabilitation in January 2016.
Angry Ghanaians believe such a return would be proper because it would convey the unhappy sentiments of the people in the face of what they believe to be poor treatment of Ghanaians by the US.
In September 2016, 100 Ghanaian deportees from the US had arrived at the Kotoka International Airport on a chartered flight in chains. Some of them had refused to disembark, citing maltreatment at the hands of US security agents.
Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, the two ex Gitmo detainees are, however, not US citizens.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels