NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE DEPORTATION OF 22 GHANAIANS
Deportation!! Deportation! Tom Tancredo, an American politician once said that “the word nobody wants to use is deportation and once you are in their country illegally, that’s the punishment. You will face deportation.
Twenty-two Ghanaians have been deported from Germany and the United Kingdom for overstaying their permits and engaging in activities that are against the laws of the two countries.
According to the Ghana Immigration Service 17 of them who were deported from Germany were brought into Ghana on a chartered flight escorted by 67 Police officers.
They are all males aged between 21 to 60 years.
In fact, to have 67 people escorting 17 unwanted guests is in itself a signal that the German government is really serious with its immigration laws.
The seventeen (17) deportees according to the Immigration Service stayed in Germany between three and 10 years without the necessary travel documentation.
Again the Home Office of the United Kingdom, UK also brought home five Ghanaians who have overstayed their entry permits.
Migration is part of life and according to the UN, it is the crossing of the boundary of a political or administrative unit for a certain minimum period of time.
It includes the movement of refugees, displaced persons, uprooted people as well as economic migrants.
Since Ghana is not at war or ravaged by violent conflicts, most Ghanaians who travel abroad illegally with the intention to stay do so as economic migrants.
Basically in search of jobs and better conditions of life.
Thus seeking greener pastures. The grass has been made greener in those countries.
The question is how are we doing as a nation to control the illegal migration. Where are the sustainable and rewarding jobs?
Certainly the push and pull factors that make citizens travel illegally seem to be stronger than our “One-District-One-Factory”. They appear to be more appealing than Planting for Food and Jobs.
They are perhaps better than rhetorics of building a better Ghana and Ghana beyond aid.
Our hardworking but idle youth need three things; jobs, jobs, and jobs.
While efforts are made to create the jobs, there is the need for a vigorous national campaign against illegal migration.
The frequent mass deportation of the royals of this land is, to say the least embarrassing and image denting.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional integration through the Ghana Immigration Service must lead the campaign to get citizens to understand the challenges associated with traveling abroad illegally.
Our traditional, religious and local leaders have a role to play in this endeavor.
As we speak many are being processed for deportation from various countries. Hundreds may be languishing in jails across the globe and others hiding in the garage and storerooms of benevolent hosts because they do not have proper documents.
For the 22 returnees, the nation can only smile and rejoice that they were not part of the regular casualties on the desert.
The nation and for that matter, family members can only be glad that the returnees were not fed to the sharks and whales on the high seas in a perilous voyage and their body parts washed ashore on the coast of the Italian island, Lampedusa.
We can sound our fontofrom Akwaba drum and welcome our compatriot back home for it is not entirely their fault.
The grass home continues to whether and hope may have evaporated and despair written all over.
We can only pray that state interventions yield timely and needed results. We need urgent action towards reducing the annual figures of Ghanaian deportees. The time is now.
BY DOMINIC HLORDZI A JOURNALIST.