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Opinion | Jan 12, 2018

“Let Us Talk About Removals Or Deportation”

“Let Us Talk About Removals Or Deportation”

Removals or deportation of migrants from a foreign country by governments through security forces has become a big topic which we must talk about seriously.

Just last week, a news item from the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, it would pay thousands of African migrants living illegally in the country to leave, threatening them with jail if they are caught after the end of March 2018.

According to the international news wire services Reuters, the plan launched last week offers African migrants a $3,500 payment from the Israeli government and a free air ticket to return home or go to “third countries”, which human rights groups identified as Rwanda and Uganda.

Many African migrants who are working low pay jobs locals shun have protested the voluntarily deportation order by the government to the supreme court of Israel and United Nations human rights groups.

Looking at the volatile security situation in the Middle East especially between Israel, Palestine, the Gaza Strip and all the Arab countries surrounding Israel, it will be proper to urge African migrants to take advantage of the voluntarily deportation programme and leave Israel in peace to other countries that may welcome them.

No wonder the prime minister of Israel has described the migration of African migrants into Israel as, “infiltration of these illegal migrants into southern Tel Aviv poor living neighbourhoods as a threat to the country’s national security”.

Worse of it all was the insult, denigration, demonizing and condemning statement issued by a state official that described these migrants as “cancer” to the people of Jews, an unacceptable statement which demands an apology from the Israeli government.

According to the story, a computer data base has been launched to track down 38,000 or more migrants living illegally in Israel and some 1,420 who are being held in two detention centers and deport them out from the country.

Using a computer data base to track down illegal migrants means the government through its security forces will be checking all the facts about illegal migrants in the country and deport them after March 2018.

This is not a joke at all. Seriously, it is not a comic event or exercise to take place and laugh over but a serious exercise that should serve as a wakeup call on the government.

No country not even our mother land Ghana will handle illegal migration lightly because it can open the country for crooks, gangs, fraudsters, war crime suspects, harden criminals and drug barons to cause economic and political instability.

Quite recently, all witnessed how illegal migrants from China nearly polluted all the river bodies, destroyed forests and killed citizens who protested against their illegal mining activities in the country.

Ghanaians are not crooks, gangs, drug barons, harden criminals either living at home or in foreign destinations as they work hard to live responsible lives.

However, due to the high influx of migrants into the country due to stable political environment, the existing institutions are occupied creating joblessness for its citizens who are pulled to move to other countries such as Israel.

Among this huge figure of illegal migrants definitely will include some Ghanaians who need help to get out of this deportation drag net.

Alerting Ghanaians who might be living as illegal migrants in Israel do not mean flagging them or advising the suspects to go into hibernation to avoid big chase from Israeli “Koti”.

Rather, making them aware of how serious the issue is and the need to avoid being put behind the huge iron curtains and later removed from the country.

In previous articles about migration, I pointed out that if you enter the borders of United States of America [U.S.A.], or Canada illegally, you should bear it at the back of your mind that the “Koti” in these countries are also prepared to deport or remove you from the country as it is the common term used in Canada.

Let the government of Ghana through the ministry of foreign affairs charge the high commissions, embassies as well as consulates to start educating Ghanaians in their countries of service on the need to stay out of deportation drag net.

Let us not ignore the issue of frustrations Ghanaians go through when migrated to other countries such as Israel and the need to solve it.

We must talk about this issue. My opinion, Ghanaian illegal migrants in Israel should leave the country in peace as I explained why in the next article.

To be continued....

Stephen A. Quaye
Stephen A. Quaye, © 2018

This author has authored 304 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: StephenAQuaye

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