US Visa ban affects only MPs – Ayokor Botchway

Ayokor Botchway
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayokor Botchway

Minister of foreign affairs and regional integration, Shirley Ayokor Botchway says her outfit has so far been working on recent sanctions by the United States of America (USA) on VISA acquisitions by Ghanaian parliamentarians, ministers and other diplomatic personalities together with their immediate families.

The minister also stated that these restrictions were as a result of some seven thousand Ghanaians illegal migrants who have been arrested by the immigration of the United States and are seeking concerns of leadership of Ghana to bring them back to their country of origin.

She however gave clarification that the Visa restrictions do not affect all Ghanaians but members of parliament together with their immediate families, ministers as well as diplomatic personalities together with immediate families.

Speaking to some members of the parliamentary press corps on Wednesday February 13,2019, the minister however was of the view that the United States could have taken into consideration the collaboration between the two countries and channeled their decisions accordingly. She also stated that her outfit has not fully been furnished with names of affected persons has advertised by the United States of America.  

  BACKGROUND

The United States of America on Friday February 1, 2019 released a statement stating that Ghana may be laden with further sanctions if government does not begin to collaborate to receive its citizens marked for deportation.

 ‘Ghana has failed to live up to its obligations under the international law to accept the return of its nationals removed from the United States’. Secretary of homeland security Kristjen Nielsen in a statement said.

It also said ‘pursuant to her authority under section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Kristjen Nielsen notified secretary of state Mike Pompeo that Ghana’s government has denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the united states.

As a result, state’s secretary Pomeo 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’.

By: THERESA ADEZEWA AYITTEY

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Joe Bright Nyarko Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.