Saturday, October 1, 2016

U.S. imposes visa ban on The Gambia Government

The United States has imposed a visa ban on The Gambia, effective 1st October.
According to the Washington Times, "Gambia refused to accept nearly 2,000 people the U.S. is trying to deport, so the Obama administration has finally decided to pull the trigger and will deny visas to some Gambians hoping to visit the U.S. the State Department said on Saturday."

A State Department official said they've informed the Gambia government of the move today, Saturday 1st October, 2016

"As of October 1, 2016, the U.S. Embassy in Banjul, The Gambia has discontinued visa issuance to employees of the Gambian government, employees of certain entities associated with the government, and their spouses and children , with limited exceptions,"a State Department official said.

A Gambian official identified as Hamba Manneh, counselor at the Gambian Embassy was quoted as saying that the backlog of Gambian deportees still in the U.S. are as many as 1,800.  He proposed that the United States Government pay for the travel expenses of immigration officials to come to the U.S. to review their cases.  He also insisted that The Gambia is trying to cooperate.

It is reported that the move by the Obama administration is the first time it has used Section 243(d) of the immigration code at the insistence of both Democrats and Republicans for the U.S. to get tough on countries that refuse to take back their citizens.

The Gambia, according to reports, is ranked 11th on the list of countries whose citizens are awaiting deportation.

The Director of the Center for Immigration Studies cited a major huddle facing both The Gambia and the United States and that is most of The Gambians awaiting deportation have been released - including hundreds with criminal records.  To rack them down would be difficult.

Senator Grasseley of Iowa was the first to reveal the move against The Gambia, yesterday, Friday who said it was about time the administration targeted someone. The 83-year old 5th term Senator is term seeking a 6th term which is facing an uphill battle to retain his seat in an election year that immigration is front and center, thanks in part to Donald Trump, the Republican Party's presidential candidate.