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U.S. Places Restrictions On Ghanaian Passports After Refusing Nationals

By Sharelle Burt

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The United States government has placed new visa restrictions on Ghana after they refused to accept 7,000 Ghanaian nationals that were sent back from the United States. Starting today, the embassy in the capital city of Accra won’t be issuing any visas to domestic employees of Ghanaian diplomats in the U.S. They have already limited visas awarded to certain applicants, like the domestic staff of diplomats, and the U.S warned that certain sanctions could be expanded into other categories if the issue isn’t resolved.

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“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 said. “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.” This isn’t new since Ghana had questioned the nationality and treatment of the deportees just last year, so they delayed the process in order to confirm.

Reports came in claiming that some deportees were handcuffed and forced to get on a plane to Ghana, but of course, the U.S. denied those claims. Over 300 people from Ghana were set to be deported from the United States in 2017 and close to 250 Ghanaian nationals were due to be repatriated last year. Other reports claimed that government and parliamentary workers and their families were some of the main targets for visa restrictions. “We hope the Ghanaian government will work with us to reconcile these deficiencies quickly,” Nielsen said.

The United States put similar sanctions on other African countries like Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone back in 2017.
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