More than four Gambian deportees from the United States of America arrived back home in The Gambia late Wednesday, The Fatu Network can revealed.
According to our sources, the deportees where jetted into the Banjul International Airport in a special aircraft and disclosed that over 700 Gambian would-be-deportees are also on their way coming in the next few days.
As many as 1,800 Gambian citizens are said to be illegal immigrants in the US and awaiting deportation.
It is reported that there is a special delegation from the US in Banjul to Gambia authorities.
Earlier this year, The Gambia refused to accept all the deportees from the US insisting that not everyone is a Gambian as there where no proof of citizenship.
This move by the Gambia government prompted the US in October 2015, to pull the trigger in denying visa to employees of the Gambia government, employees of certain entities associated with the government, and their spouses and children, with limited exceptions.
This was said to be a punishment following the government’s refusal to accept people the U.S. was trying to deport.
US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson took the decisive move after years of prodding by lawmakers on Capitol Hill, signing a letter triggering the law that requires a halt in visas to countries that are refusing to accept their own citizens.
Under the law, the State Department had no choice but to comply and informed the Gambian government of the move on Saturday, October 1st, 2016.
“As of October 1, 2016, the U.S. Embassy in Banjul, The Gambia has discontinued visa issuance to employees of the Gambian government, employees of certain entities associated with the government, and their spouses and children, with limited exceptions,” a State Department said.
The Obama administration’s move marks the first time it has used Section 243(d) of the immigration code, and it comes as both Democrats and Republicans have called for the U.S. to get tough on foreign countries that don’t take back their citizens.
The only time this law has been used before was against Guyana in 2001 and it produced full cooperation in less than two months. The Bush administration pulled the trigger on denying visas to Guyana. Of a backlog of 113 immigrants, 112 of them were processed and deported within two months, and the U.S. quickly lifted its punishment.
Meanwhile, statistics revealed that as many as 1,800 Gambian citizens are in the backlog and The Gambia is ranked 11th on list of countries that don’t want to take back their citizens.