In the context of rising of deportation of African migrants from USA and Germany, read this article published by a Sierra Leone newspaper on the recent chartered flight arrived mid-august with deportees from USA.
Two non Sierra Leonean Greencard Holders Dumped at Lungi
By Alpha Abu
On Wednesday 14th August 2019 at 10:30 GMT, a chartered flight touched down at Lungi Airport, across the Freetown Bay. The huge cabin of the Omni Airbus looked sparsely boarded, as there were a little over one hundred people on board for its over four hundred capacity . It was a heart-wrenching sight to behold.
All the men and women were handcuffed and also had chains around their hips and ankles, a picture similar to that of an arrested drug mobster, a convicted paedophile or death row convict. But in reality, these people had lived and worked in the United States, some for years but were being deported from the giant North American nation, to Africa, on a chartered flight by US Homeland Security.
The plane had stopped briefly to refuel and restock food in Senegal and on that wet Wednesday morning, 16 persons were forced out of the plane on arrival at Lungi. All but two were people from Sierra Leone, all having bore the brunt of US President Donald Trump’s highly controversial clamp down on immigrants. The Airbus then took off for Ghana and then Liberia, before finally flying to Ivory Coast to drop off the other deportees in their countries of birth.
Amongst the Sierra Leoneans brought home in that degrading manner, was a medical practitioner, and they’ve all narrated harrowing details of how they were roughed up and bundled into detention facilities in the United States by personnel of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). One lady was picked up whilst at work and a male Sierra Leonean said he was only able to lace up his sneakers when they arrived at Lungi airport, after the shackles were removed. They had to strenuously scoop food into their mouths with their hands still chained.
But what has baffled our own Immigration authorities is the inclusion of two other men who we gathered, have never been to this country. The two men are presently languishing at the CID of there Police in Freetown, just dumbfounded as to why our authorities here allowed them in.
Prince Hartman Latoya (correct spelling of surname, unlike that on the ICE document), has been on separate occasions, deported to Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal over the years, but officials in those countries had never allowed him to disembark and had instead ensured his swift return to the States. Layota who is in his 40’s, was born in the Caribbean nation of Bahamas and had lived in America for some 25 years. Unconfirmed reports say he was arrested for drunk driving.
The other non- Sierra Leonean is Sarren Idaho who is of Dominican descent and unlike the case of Latoya, he was experiencing the first attempt by American officials to deport him to an African country. Both men say they have never carried any Sierra Leonean document and just couldn’t understand how the ICE people prepared documents that directed their dumping here. The men say had our Immigration officials been firm, they would have insisted, as those in other countries did in Latoya’s case that they be returned to the United States. Both men say they are American Greencard holders and have no connection to this country, whatsoever. CID officials in Freetown have reportedly contacted the US Embassy at Leicester Square, Regent about the presence of Latoya and Idaho here, but are yet to get a response.
Various groups have condemned the latest manner of deportation by the Trump administration, the use of chains of chains in particular, which brings back bitter memories of slavery. Indeed the Trump white supremacist agenda is in full gear.
© Peak Newspaper