Ghana risks visa sanctions for refusing to accept its deported citizens from the U.S.
In what would be sad news to the millions of Ghanaian citizens who apply for American visas yearly, the United States of America has said that it would be imposing visa restrictions on Ghana.
The announcement was made public in a statement released by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS accused the government of Ghana of not cooperating with the U.S. in accepting citizens who were deported back to the African country for illegal status.
Speaking on the sanctions, the United States Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen said the order was given by United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, citing Ghana’s lack of corporation in removing its illegal citizens from America.
She said Ghana has unreasonably delayed accepting its nationals that were deported and this has led to the order for visa restrictions on certain categories of visa applications; the sanctions would be expanded to a wider population if improvements are not made.
“U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has ordered consular officers in Ghana to implement visa restrictions on certain categories of visa applicants.
“Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population,” the statement said.
“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.
“We hope the Ghanaian government will work with us to reconcile these deficiencies quickly”; the statement said.
At the time of this report, Ghanaian authorities were yet to release any official statement on the matter despite the fact that citizens of the country have taken to social media to express their opinions, with a majority saying that the sanctions were uncalled for as it would only affect innocent citizens.
According to them, the United States would have adopted a different approach and method in dealing with the issue rather than placing a sanction which will not affect the political class themselves.
Others felt the government was to blame and risk straining diplomatic ties with the United States over the issue.
In recent years, more than any other country in the world, Ghanaian citizens are on record as the highest number of applicants for the US diversity visa program also known as “green card lottery.” An average of over 1.73 million people apply yearly according to a report by US State Department data analysis.
This is surprising considering the total population of Ghana which is 26 million.
Header Image Credit: African News
Are you impressed, have any concerns, or think we can improve this article? Comment below or email us.