Some of 63 Ghanaians who were deported to Ghana are claiming they were treated like criminals upon their arrest in the United States where they were put in jail with hardened criminals for at least a year.
Some of them say they were in prison custody for 18 months without any charge until their eventual deportation to Accra on Wednesday. All males were handcuffed as they disembarked from the chartered Delta Airline Flight from the US.
Most of them had no belongings while those with little goods were wrapped in rubber sacks with some holding bread and pastries that they were served on the flight.
Each was given GHS100 for transportation from Accra to their various destinations. They were screened by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), the Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Police Service before they left the Airport.
Although they admitted going to the US illegally, they handed themselves to authorities on arrival but as refugees. According to some of them, they were fastened and sent to prisons for eighteen months. Others claim they were arrested on the streets of US and sent to prisons without any charges, and while there, they were served with food meant for dogs and pigs. One of the deportees, Richmond Acheampong, on Thursday, recounted what he termed as horrific tribulations that he and others suffered while awaiting deportation to Ghana. He said he spent over a year moving from one prison cell to the other when he was picked up by immigration authorities.
I was first detained in Mexico where I spent 14 days in prison before I was allowed to go. Then I later moved to U.S to seek for asylum but I was picked and handed over to the immigration officials there and I was detained at the Alabama prison which is akin to a jail cell. The place was very bad” Acheampong narrated. He said he lost a court case at Washington where he spent eight months in prison, adding he was transferred to Indiana where he spent six months and later to Arizona for a week. Prior to embarking on the journey to seek greener pastures, the 42-year-old man who is married with two kids worked as electrical appliance mechanic in Ghana.
He said he spent over 3,000 dollars from Brazil to the US. He told that he has learned lessons from this distressing experience but says I’m not perturbed because in this life everyone and what has been destined for him. Some would go there and make it while others may go and not make it. Acheampong advised those wishing to embark on such journey to make sure they acquire all necessary documents, indicating that the U.S is a nice place to live only if one has the right documents.