We 'Have Always Cooperated,'—Ghana Responds to US Visa Sanctions
The Ghanaian government has refuted claims that it failed to cooperate with US authorities regarding the deportation of Ghanaian nationals.
Ghana's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has released an official statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security's recent implementation of visa sanctions, which are set to go into effect today, according to news site Ghana Web, and will limit the issuance of visas to "domestic employees of Ghanaian Diplomats hosted in the US."
The Ghanian government has refuted the claims of the US authorities, claiming in a statement released on Friday that the country "has always cooperated with the US authorities in the processing and removal of Ghanaian citizens who have been cited for deportation from the US to Ghana."
The Ministry also expressed disappointment at the claims of the US government. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration notes with concern and disappointment the decision of the United States authorities to implement visa sanctions on Ghana for alleged lack of adequate cooperation in accepting Ghanaian nationals who have been ordered removed from the United States,"
You can read the full response from the Ghanaian government below.
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The United States' Department of Homeland Security has imposed visa sanctions on Ghana, accusing the country of failing to cooperate in accepting its deported nationals back from the United States.
"Ghana has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to accept the return of its nationals ordered removed from the United States," said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsenin a statement on Thursday.
"The United States routinely cooperates with foreign governments in documenting and accepting US citizens when asked, as appropriate, as do the majority of countries in the world, but Ghana has failed to do so in this case," she added.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered consular officers in Ghana to put an issuance restriction on "certain categories of visa applicants." The specific classifications of visas that are to be restricted were not mentioned in the statement.
"Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population. The sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level," the statement continued.
The statement did not list the number of those facing deportation, but according to Face2Face Africa, there are about 7,000 Ghanaians awaiting deportation from the U.S.
Given the current administration's abysmal track record on immigrant issues, the move to place sanctions on Ghana appears to some, as yet another showing of its harmful anti-immigrant attitudes—as well as bias against African countries, which Trump infamously referred to as "shitholes" in January of last year.
Ghanaians and international obsevers are responding to the news online. Here's what some are saying: