Gambia Refuses To Accept Deportees From The US
DC Embassy Whistleblower Explains The Deal Behind Jammeh’s Move
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh, has given directives to Embassy officials in Washington DC not to identify Gambian deportees from the US when contacted by the United States Customs and Immigration Services, said a top official of the Gambian Mission. The Gambian leader has also instructed Diplomats in DC not to issue emergency passports to Gambian Immigrants on a “visa violation” removal orders, the official told the Freedom Newspaper.
Close to 200 Gambian Immigrants were arrested in 2009, all of whom were lined up for deportation in various Immigration Detention Facilities across the country, but thanks to Jammeh’s “benevolent” gesture in refusing to issue emergency passports to the deportees, the deportations were differed, said the DC Embassy official.
The Gambian Embassy “whistleblower” said there is some kind of discrimination in the whole affair, as his colleagues often turned in suspected political dissidents lined up for deportation to the USCIS when contacted. If you are identified as a supporter of the government or you have a relative close to the Embassy your chances of being deported is very slim, said the insider.
Embassy officials often denied knowing the deportees-which frustrate USCIS planned deportation orders. The official said about 95 percent of the deportees were released due to lack of information about their country of origin. The official adds that the Embassy refused to corporate with the USCIS to identify these deportees.
The USCIS needs information about the deportees’ country of origin and as well as an emergency passport to be able to process their deportation from this country. But in the absence of such information, it would be impossible for them to institute removal proceedings against any Immigrant detainee.
Immigrants held in Federal facilities on visa violations or other Immigration related offences are usually released on probation--pending the determination of their countries of origin. Some are detained between three to eight months respectively before being released--- as stipulated by law.
Once released, the Immigrants are expected to maintain a close contact with their INS case agents. They are allowed to live and work in the US, pending the determination of their country of origin. They are also expected to keep a good behavior during their probation.
The Gambia has joined the list of other Communist Governments such as MainLand China, which refuses to accept deportees from the US. Pro Immigrant supporters welcomed Gambia’s move to reject deportees from the US. They said Immigrants with a “clean” bill of criminal history should not be forcefully remove from this country.
But on the other hand, the Embassy official held a different view altogether. The official said Mr. Jammeh’s move was politically motivated.
“ He is doing this to gain political support in the US. I can tell you that he is succeeding to some extent in winning the hearts and minds of Gambians in the United States. If someone is saved from being thrown to hell, he would do whatever it takes to satisfy the Government which rescued him, or her from deportation, “said the official.
The official contends that some of the Immigrant deportees are hard working and law abiding Gambians, but nonetheless he questioned the sincerity of the Government since opposition members are being discriminated against. He says Embassy officials often volunteered information about dissidents lined up for deportation.
“ Jammeh’s move is not well intended. It is a scam and I think the civilized world should be forewarned. I regret being part of this system,”said the official.
The official said Gambian Immigrants in the United Kingdom are being deported on a daily basis and he wondered why Mr. Jammeh could not have stopped the deportations through emergency passport issuance refusal as he did in the US. The official accuses Jammeh of using Immigration in the US to achieve political gains.
“ I do not wish any Gambian to be deported. But I am opposed to the way the Jammeh Government is trying to lie and deceive US Immigration officials. They should treat all deportees equally-irrespective political affiliation,” said the official.
Recently, a Gambian Immigrant on deportation order name withheld contacted this reporter enquiring about reports he heard about Jammeh extending an amnesty to Gambian deportees from the US. The caller said he was told that the Gambian Mission in DC has stopped processing emergency passports for Gambian deportees from the US.
The caller wondered if the DC Embassy officials would not turn him to the USCIS if his asylum deportation appeal turns out to be unsuccessful. He wanted the Freedom Newspaper to authenticate the reports he gathered.
The United States is a diverse nation-which attract Immigrants from the different parts of the world. Some of the Immigrants settled here due to economic reasons, political and educational pursuits.
The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in the world—with a population of less than 3 Million people. It is ruled by a former military lieutenant, turned dictator, whose human rights record is said to be worse on the African continent. Extra-judicial killing, torture, and kidnapping of political opponents are common features in the impoverished West African nation. Washington and other Western countries have criticized Mr. Jammeh for his lack of respect for human rights and the rule of law.
Mr. Jammeh has in the recent past accuses Western Embassies in The Gambia of denying visas to Gambians to travel to overseas. Jammeh said his Government would not accept deportees from the West. The US has been his main focus to block Immigration deportation proceedings.
With the new deal, Gambian deportees are rest assured of their continued presence in the US-with the exception of opposition supporters. The deal does not cover perceived dissidents, said the official.