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United States slaps Ghana with visa Sanctions

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says 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. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says 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.
WASHINGTON, DC. February 5, 2019 - The Department of Homeland Security in the United States, has announced the imposition of  visa sanctions on Ghana as a result of the country's failure to accept Ghanaian nationals who have been deported from the U.S.

Pursuant to her authority under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen notified Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Government of Ghana has denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States.

As a result, Secretary of State 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 sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.

“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 Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

“The United States routinely cooperates with foreign governments in documenting and accepting U.S. citizens when asked, as appropriate, as do the majority of countries in the world, but Ghana has failed to do so in this case.  We hope the Ghanaian government will work with us to reconcile these deficiencies quickly.”

The sanctions which took effect yesterday, February 4, is expected to affect a number of Ghanaians.

Here’s the group of people the sanctions may affect

The US Embassy in Ghana will discontinue issuing all non-immigrant visas (NIV) to domestic employees (A3 and G5) of Ghanaian diplomats posted in the United States. This means that A3 and G5 visa applications will be processed, but no visas in these categories will be issued while these restrictions remain in effect:

Visa types

A: Diplomats and foreign government officials

B-1: Domestic employees or nannies (must be accompanying a foreign national employer)

B2: Visitors for medical treatment, Tourists, vacationers and pleasure visitors

G1- G5, NATO: Designated international organisation’s employees and NATO

Citizens with the above visa types will be denied the visa to the US.

Three hundred and seven people from Ghana were slated for deportation from the United States in 2017; another 243 Ghanaian nationals were due to be repatriated last year, according to a report released by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Countries with visa sanctions had higher deportation rates when compared to previous years, the report said.

The United States imposed similar sanctions on Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in 2017.

 

  • Countries: Africa

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