EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: At least 27 Gambian nationals are expected to be deported from the United States in weeks to come, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Communication officer, Saikou Ceesay, has said.
Mr Ceesay confirmed that five Gambian nationals were deported from the US fortnight ago. When asked whether they are part of the reported 2000 Gambians to be deported from the US, he said: “What I can say with clarity is that five have been deported, but I cannot ascertain whether they are part of the reported 2000 Gambians on the deportation list in the US.”
On the issue of visa restriction on Gambia Government officials, their families, and others associated with the Government, Mr Ceesay said efforts have been employed at the part of the Government for the lifting of visa restriction on officials. He did not state any timeline as to when the ban will be lifted.
It could be recalled that last October the United States Embassy in Banjul, has discontinued issuing visas to Gambian government officials, others associated with the government, and their families.
The US embassy said there are a number of Gambians in the United States who are under final deportation orders. Some of them were said to be in detention. These citizens, according to US embassy, have all been accorded full access to the U.S. legal system, and have exhausted all possible legal appeals. This, US officials explained was the reason why the Obama administration want to return them to their families in The Gambia, but the then Government under the leadership of Yahya Jammeh refused to comply with US official request to provide passports or other travel documents for the alleged Gambians be deported. It is clear that these alleged Gambians can only be deported when provided with passports and other travel documents by the Government of The Gambia.