Matthew Jallow, a prominent Gambian activist and long term resident of the USA, has said that the Gambia Government has no choice over the recent deportation of undocumented Gambians from the US.
In a Facebook write-up shared with The Standard, Jallow explained that many Gambians who overstayed their visas or were denied asylum in the US, were ordered deported by judges across the US.
However in the past, Mr Jallow went on, Gambian authorities refused to confirm the Gambian citizenships of those on deportation orders.
“With the arrival of Donald Trump, the US government banned all US visa issuance to Gambia and Gambians intending to travel to the US unless Gambia receives citizens forced out of the USA.
“The challenge for the Gambia government is continue to refuse accepting Gambian deportees and thereby deny other Gambians a chance to travel to the US for studies, business, family visits or simply as tourists. If anyone has an easy fix to this dilemma other than do what our government is doing, I’ll call them genius. So, let’s hear about your ideas and ways out of this diplomatic jam. But having said that, I must also emphasize that across the Atlantic in Europe, the deportations are tied to grants amounting to millions of dollars to help resettle, train and create opportunities for deportees,” he said.
He added: “My advice to the government is to be completely transparent and honor the purpose for which these grants were made; create opportunities and stem the tide of mass immigration to Europe. Yahya Jammeh too received such grants from Europe, but he squandered all those millions of dollars on himself.”
Meanwhile the press officer at MOFA Saikou Ceesay confirmed that some 36 Gambian deportees arrived in Banjul. He added that government was obliged to issue emergency certificates for those with expired Gambian passports.