A Ghanaian has been sentenced to 40 months in prison for not cooperating with United States of America authorities in his deportation from the country.
Patrick Owusu, aged 42, was sentenced by a District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
He was said to be “hindering his removal from the United States.” According to United States Department of Justice, in 2012, an Immigration Judge ordered Owusu to return to Ghana after he was “convicted of several serious criminal offences while residing in the United States.”
On March 31, 2014, and May 28, 2014, immigration officials attempted to remove Owusu from the United States, but he resisted and refused to board the plane.
Owusu has remained in custody since being charged in December 2015 and will be deported back to Ghana following this sentence.
Indications from as far back as 2017 indicated that 7,000 Ghanaians were facing deportation.
The then-US ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, said the 7,000 were guilty of various immigration offences and had abused the terms of their visas.
At the time, he said the Ghanaians were at different stages of the deportation process.
But the government said it did not want to rush the process and wanted to thoroughly vet the said deportees.
Ghana is currently contending with visa sanctions by the US for its purported lack of cooperation in accepting Ghanaians deported.
The sanctions were targetted at government personnel and workers tied to Parliament.
The sanctions began with the cessation of the issuance of non-immigrant visas to domestic employees of Ghanaian diplomats posted in the US.
There are also limits on the validity period and number of entries on new tourists and business visas for all Ghanaian executive and legislative branch employees to one-month, single-entry visas.