Rethink Criminalisation Of Illegal Entries

Last Wednesday Ghanaians were jolted by news of the deportation of their compatriots from the United States.

Sixty-three Ghanaians suffering this painful expulsion cannot be a thing of joy that is why we are commenting about it.

Imagine the hassle they suffered before finally making it to a country they expected would reverse their statuses in life.

We have gathered information about how most of them, if not all, used the Brazil opportunity during the world football tournament in 2014 to enter the ‘land of opportunities’ but unfortunately, fate has failed them.

We appreciate the efficiency of the relevant security agencies, especially the Ghana Immigration Service, in playing their parts as they should, under such circumstances upon the arrival of the deportees.

Deportations of this sort have their negative consequences and the deportees would surely experience them in one way or the other.

The stress associated with such situations is not good. Deportees require all the support they would need to weather the psychological fallouts from their predicament.

Our youth are adventurous. It is an attribute of their age and nobody can stop them from making a dash for any opportunity which rears its head. Suffice it to point out however, that as they take the final decision to jump out, let them understand that the risks are enormous and varied.

We commiserate with them on their plight and counsel them to take it easy because deportation is not a death penalty. ‘When one door closes another opens’ is a dictum worth considering under such conditions.

We hear many more Ghanaians are holed up in the US unable to feel free because they do not know what is in store for them under the presidency of Donald Trump.

Chaining or handcuffing deportees is a blemish we wish the civilized world could take another look at. It is dehumanizing and reduces the person so treated to nothingness, which is why we are disturbed.

Having observed deportees land home over the years, there are similar features. All of them suffer this standard handling of being chained or even handcuffed. It would therefore not be veracious that deportees were stubborn and pay the price for this in the form of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade standard treatment.

Shouldn’t the world rethink the criminalization of illegal entries? In spite of the geopolitical dynamics the world is one big village and humans when they decide to migrate due to myriad factors, let their hosts visit their anger on them with some pity and moderation. Chaining them like animals reminds us about the dark days of slavery perpetrated by their forebears against us.

We are scandalized and ashamed that in this day and age such cruelty to fellow humans would remain a standard when even war situations are regulated by international conventions such as the Nuremburg Convention.

Welcome home folks; it shall be well.