Outgoing United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson has called on the Ghanaian government to prioritize the issuance of travel documents to stranded Ghanaians in the United States awaiting deportation.
In an interview with Citi News, Ambassador Jackson said the United States government will halt its resort to charter flights in returning deportees if the Ghanaian government will commit to facilitating the process.
“We want the government of Ghana to prioritise the issuance of travel documents… We do not like to use the charter flights. We only use the charter flights when we are facing a legal deadline to get people out of United States …We could eliminate the charters entirely when the Ghanaian embassy or consul will interview one or two people everyday or every other and issue travel documents once they are satisfied with their nationality..”
The US Embassy had earlier threatened to among other things, charter flights for the deportation of these migrants.It indicated in a statement that this had become necessary, following Ghana government’s non-compliance with international obligations regarding the issuance of travel documents to its citizens awaiting deportation in the USA.
“…When the Government of Ghana fails to meet its ICAO obligation regarding the regular issuance of travel documents, the U.S. government is forced to employ charter flights for deportations. The Government of Ghana has the power to reduce, or even end, the use of charter flights by meeting its obligation to issue travel documents in a timely manner,” the statement had said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration subsequently explained that it cannot be rushed to issue travel documents to illegal migrants in the US without carrying out “due diligence.”
The Ministry, however, said it remained committed to ensuring that all challenges are resolved.
“The Ministry wishes to place on record that it continues to engage its missions in the United States of America on the matter, and has already communicated their concerns to the US Embassy in Ghana about the need to do due diligence and establish the nationality of the deportees before they are issued with travel documents,” the Ministry said in a statement.