The United States’ Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented US visa sanctions on certain categories of visa applicants after the Ghanaian government failed to accept its nationals who were removed from the U.S., reported BBC.
As part of the U.S. visa sanctions, which goes into effect on February 4, the US embassy in Accra will limit visa allotment to certain applicants, such as the domestic staff of diplomats posted to America. The US officials have warned that the sanctions could be expanded to a broader population if in case the issue was not resolved.
“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,” Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said announcing the implementation of visa sanctions.
The U.S visa sanctions are expected to remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.
The Ghanaian government, on the other hand, has refuted allegations of non-cooperation as pointed out by the US government over the deportation of some Ghanaians leading to visa sanction on Ghana.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry claims that it has always cooperated and engaged the US authorities in processing and removal of Ghanaians from the US.
The Ministry disclosed that its Washington Mission had received 28 applications from the US Authorities as at January 8, 2019, out of which the Embassy interviewed 19 applicants and issued 11 traveling certificates for their travel to Ghana. The outstanding applications were put on hold as a result of doubts on their Ghanaian nationality, ill health and pending litigation in US courts.
“The Ministry wishes to state that these allegations are unfounded and the sanctions imposed on Ghana are without any justification whatsoever,” the Ministry said in a statement released on Friday.
The Ghanaian Foreign Affairs Ministry said it is currently assessing the situation and would resort to appropriate measures within the context of international law and the bilateral relations between Ghana and the United States in due course.