The United States Ambassador to Ghana has debunked reports that some 63 Ghanaians who were recently deported from the United States were treated inhumanely.
Robert P. Jackson explained to the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament Thursday, that those affected were deported involuntarily as they had attempted to resist deportation.
The deportees are being sent home for various offences, ranging from drug possession, larceny, assault, theft, sexual assault, identity theft, illegal entry, forgery/fraud, resisting arrest and other non-criminal offences.
Most of them are said to have migrated from the Ashanti and the Central regions of Ghana.
There are reports that some Ghanaians who had gone to seek greener pastures in the US but ended up deported were handcuffed, forced and maltreated as they enplaned to Ghana.
One of the deportees who Accra-based UTV claimed their legs and hands were all chained for close to 28 hours. He added that because of that they refused to disembark from the plane when they arrived at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra so that the media will video them for the sake of evidence.
According to him, authorities of the Ghana Immigration Service came over to plead with them to disembark before they deplaned. He said they were not given food but only given bread and water from the United States to Ghana.
But the Ambassador explained that “the 63, who returned recently, arrived in a chartered flight, refused to board a civilian aircraft and return voluntarily. I do not consider the conditions under which they were returned inhumane,"
According to him, “they were fed, they had some freedom of movement on the flight for the safety of other people on board. It is not as if they were chained to their seats.”
He confirmed that “it is true that 7,000 Ghanaians who have overstayed their visas or are staying in the US illegally are in various stages of the deportation processes."
“There will be additional deportations because the 7,000 people who are under deportation orders have either committed crimes in the United States or long overstayed the visas on which they entered,” Mr Jackson said.
The Ambassador reiterated that the US is welcoming and accommodating tens of thousands of Ghanaians who use legal means to enter the country and abide by the laws of the country.
He spoke of several nationals including Ghanaians who are currently in the US working legally without any threat of deportation.