“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,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a statement on Thursday.
“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,” she added.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered consular officers in Ghana to put an issuance restriction on “certain categories of visa applicants.” The specific classifications of visas that are to be restricted were not mentioned in the statement.
“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,” the statement continued.
The statement did not list the number of those facing deportation, but according to Face2Face Africa, there are about 7,000 Ghanaians awaiting deportation from the U.S.
Given the current administration’s abysmal track record on immigrant issues, the move to place sanctions on Ghana appears to some, as yet another showing of its harmful anti-immigrant attitudes—as well as bias against African countries, which Trump infamously referred to as “shitholes” in January of last year.