Over 70 Ghanaian immigrants were deported from the United States on Wednesday for visa-related offences including staying illegally and over staying their visas.
The all-male deportees arrived at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport in handcuffs, local media report. The deportees initially refused to disembark from the plane in protest over their inhumane treatment including shackling hands and legs before and during the entire length of the journey.
It took the intervention of Ghanaian security and immigration officials to convince them to leave the place after an hour.
The security and disaster management services welcomed the deportees and assisted them to get to their destinations. They were reported to have been given 100 Ghana Cedis ($23) each after clearance as some of them had neither luggage nor means to contact their families.
Member of Parliament and former deputy education minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, condemned the ill-treatment of deportees who are shackled or handcuffed. “I want to stress that we all have to condemn the way these deportees have been treated. Inasmuch as we all concede that the deportees have questions to answer, it is important that these deportees’ rights are respected,” he told local radio Class FM on Thursday.
Last November, the United States deported 108 Ghanaian immigrants for various reasons including drug-related offences, staying illegally, over staying their permits and other crimes. The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, said in April that about 7,000 Ghanaian immigrants in the United States were being processed for deportation.
President Donald Trump has vowed to deport illegal immigrants and immigrants with criminal records as part of his immigration laws to be rolled out.
Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway had said in January that Ghanaians without proper documentations abroad should reconsider their decision and return home.