Sixteen deported from US to Sierra Leone – more to follow

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 August 2019:

It is thought that there are as many as one hundred thousand or more Sierra Leoneans or people with Sierra Leonean passports, living in the United States. Many are believed to be illegal immigrants or serving jail term.

After decades of US humanitarian policy of giving second chance to those arriving at its shores for a better life, President Trump has decided enough is enough.

Immigrants from several African countries and their families living in the US are now scared, looking over their shoulders, worried and thinking whether and how soon they will be snatched by the immigration police for deportation to their country of birth. Critics are referring to this Trump immigration policy as inhumane and racist.

Deportees are chained like slaves. They are not allowed to take a single item of personal property with them, other than the clothes on their backs. Many have spent most of their lives in the US which they call home, and have very little connection to Sierra Leone.

Life in Sierra Leone is going to be very tough if not impossible for some of the deportees. This will put immense strain on the country’s healthcare, social and welfare services.

It is not clear what specific formal arrangements have been made with governments in countries like Sierra Leone to receive and properly rehabilitate or resettle those that are being deported back to their homeland.

Furthermore, it is not clear how much funding the government of Sierra Leone has received or is receiving from the US government to help the US manage its immigration policy.

Sierra Leone does not have enough space at its prisons to accommodate its own prisoners. let alone take responsibility for those deportees that are being released from US prisons to serve jail term in Sierra Leone. Quite simply, Sierra Leone does not have the resources nor the capacity to cope with this US deportation policy.

Yesterday there was news of the arrival in Sierra Leone of 16 deportees from the US. This is Alhaji M.B Jalloh’s report:  

Sixteen Sierra Leonean passport holders have been deported back to Sierra Leone by the U.S. authorities, for alleged criminal and other immigration-related offences, according to a Sierra Leone Police spokesman.

The deportees comprising 15 men and one woman, arrived at the Lungi International Airport on Wednesday, 14th August, 2019.
They are currently being held at the Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Freetown, Superintendent of Police, Brima Kamara told me on the phone earlier today, Thursday, August 15.

Some of the deported Sierra Leonean passport holders, the Police spokesman said, have been profiled by the relevant authorities while others were still undergoing screening to ascertain whether they originated from Sierra Leone or not.

“Those that have successfully undergone the screening will be allowed to depart to their various destinations while the few suspected to have obtained Sierra Leone passports by dubious means will remain in police custody until investigations are completed,” Superintendent Kamara said.

He also told me that the Sierra Leone government is working closely with the American Embassy in Freetown to receive more deportees within the next two weeks.

Speaking from the Criminal Investigations Department this afternoon, one of the deportees alleged that, he was deported without going through the legal process in the US – an allegation the US Embassy in Freetown has vehemently denied.

“All the deportees were allowed to go through a legal process before issuing the Emergency Travel Certificates to leave the United States, ” A US Embassy official in Freetown told me on the phone late this afternoon.

Another deportee confessed that some of them were living illegally in the US but was also quick to say that: “Majority of Sierra Leoneans living and working in the US are peaceful and law abiding. “

He added that: “I have no criminal record, I was in the US working to support my family back home so that they can have a better life for themselves.”

24 Comments

  1. You are so right. Sierra Leone is our Homeland. No matter where we are, nothing is going to change the fact that we are Sierra Leoneans. All we need to do, is to work our hardest to upgrade that country.

    There is no place like home. Many of us cannot afford to help financially, but we can support those who can. So please my brother, sister, uncle, aunty, cousin, mother and father, let not give up on the place we call home.

  2. Welcome back home my follow citizens. I know life is difficult in Sierra Leone at the moment, but it will be okay soon.

  3. I think as Sierra Leoneans, we need to develop our country so that life will become easier for all Sierra Leonean to live in our noble country.

  4. Deportation of people must not be something we can grieve for. Because all nations have ways of running their nations. If one is charged with a committed crime on another man’s land, it does not mean that is the end of your life.

    As I’m hearing people hoovering over this, please it is just a signal that our leaders need to care for us in any nation or a country – I must say in Africa to be specific.

    Deporting someone means to return home, home sweet home as we all say no place like home. Aa aa come home. God is the only one that can reject you and your life. You feel doomed but if only you believe, then there is a better life ahead of any struggle or pain.

  5. This is very pathetic for our brothers and sisters out there in America to be deported without a clear understanding of the specific crimes committed. Whether you believe it or not, this is going to add more salt in our injury. Our economy is scrambling under the leadership of Jacob Jusu Saffa, the verbose economic technocrat who does nothing good to improve the broken economy he inherited as he alleged.

    As some of you who think monofocal about issues affecting others, simply because your door has not been knocked to serve you your turn, remember that some of those people you think are stupid they more intelligent than you are, and that they work hard to earn their living and support their families at home. They are not childish and pikinish like you who survive through leftovers.

  6. In the 60s and the 70s our country Sierra Leone knew United states of america but they are not eager to come and stay there permanently. Those leaders and other top ranking members of the house of representatives will come to the United states and return back to Sierra Leone.

    But now our country is messed up – every one wants to go out of the country because of poor management of the country led by our leaders.

    Government leaders do not think about the people of Sierra Leone – they only think about themselves and that the reason why everyone wants to leave the country. That is why America is making important itself to the entire world, because they think about their own people.

  7. Welcome back home. Rise up the lioness in you and start over. That’s not the end of life. You could have been in the USA and lost your job, life and peace. How would you have survived?

    They don’t want us there, think about this? If you had been deported at 58 or 60 years old, how are you going to care for yourself? You are home now. Ask God to show you the way. I see doors and help coming to you all.

    Wipe out your tears and sit up. Home is home. God bless mama salone

  8. SERIOUS STUFF. This is a wake up call for President Bio and his SLPP GOVERNMENT. I do not want to give any pro/con comments till the CID completes it’s investigation.
    It is not just right when someone leaves his country for another country to become a refugee and returns as a refugee in his own country. I am not saying that these individuals were refugees. But…….!

    The government must start making preparations (accommodation, food etc) for our fellow citizens who are deported unfairly. More are on their way. No one must underestimate TRUMP WORLD. Everything is possible in America these days.

    They are talking about illegal immigrants. HOW? Whatever the case, let’s wait for the CID investigations.

  9. Actually this is a bad news for our country Sierra Leone. It is time for us Sierra Leoneans to unite.

  10. First of all they broke the law. Secondly, how can we let illegal immigrants in our country when we have tens of thousands of homeless american citizens starving and living on the streets. If we can’t take care of our own people how can we even start to take care of people who came here illegally? I’m all for people coming into america ,as long as they do it legally, like my family had to.

  11. My heart is troubled after reading this Deportation News. I am so very sorry. These are OUR BLOODLINES. How come, they are treated like this? I most times ask to be Contacted with information on HOW TO DO SOME LITTLE HELP in such situations, but NEVER GET REPLIES. May God give our people WISDOM. AMEN.

  12. This is why these people were messed up. Staying in some country illegally working to feed and take care of extended family in your country. That is some stupid. Till these families start fending for themselves, these African countries won’t improve a bit. Work for yourself and your nucleus family. Fix your papers first to do good by the laws and then you won’t be deported.

    • How arrogant of you to make such outlandish prejudicial statements. What you’ve done is exactly the sort of self-hate that fuels Trump’s hateful policies. How do you blame people for working hard to help families who are in worse economic conditions? Unbelievable!

  13. The only problem we have in our country is unity. There is a proverb which say’s “if all RATS unite together they will tie up a CAT”. Sierra Leoneans, our land is fertile full of minerals, why can’t we come upland and do farming rather than siting in the city with no jobs. Any way I don’t blame the people, it’s the government itself that I will blame, because they have to implement all this logics, expecially AGRICULTURE. Come on Sierra Leoneans.

  14. This is very bad. I hope the government of Sierra Leone will work very hard to stop this wickedness because most of these deportees are bread winners for their families.

  15. Its too bad,now the country is not in good condition. Majority of them are bread winners of the family. What next now?

  16. This is one prime reason we should hold our elected officials back home to deliver on their campaign promises. Almost all Africans migrate to the west for better opportunities. Most Africans I know are law abiding here in the west. If opportunities exist back home, very few Africans will have the urge to migrate to the west.

    • I know we have a tendency to rush to spout our self-righteous opinions and half-baked thoughts the moment we see a headline. The article broadly mentions the scarce Sierra Leone prison resources and capacity for imprisoned deportee. On the same note, it mentions deportees who were breadwinners for their families. What it doesn’t clarify is whether these particular deportees were prisoners. The fact that they were shackled may or may not indicate they were prisoners.

      The report states “Sixteen Sierra Leonean passport holders have been deported back to Sierra Leone by the U.S. authorities, for alleged criminal and other immigration-related offences, according to a Sierra Leone Police spokesman.” Practically, this would be the only reason the SL police would be involved in what is otherwise, generally a civil or misdemeanor violation.

      So let’s first get some clarity on these basic facts before we castigate the deportees, or opine on how stupid they were for sending support to their families back home.

  17. Is it not time for us to stop thinking on political lines and form a government of national unity with the best Sierra Leonean brains we have, in order to solve our ever increasing problems??? The answer to these half baked populists around the world is a United Africa that can secure her natural resoures, protect her children from economic and social injustice.

    Can someone PLEASE tell me why we cannot form a GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY? THE TIME IS RIPE!!

    • Spot on Sir! As an African Federalist, your call for a united or federal Africa adequately empowered to become a haven for us Africans, chimes well with me.

      Our continent is endowed with so much potential that if we only mustered the courage and intelligence to politically unite, objectively elect genuine Progressives and then embark on the strategic utilisation of our resources to ECONOMICALLY EMPOWER US; RID US OF COLONIAL MENTALITY, such humiliation of Africans brutally transported back to Africa in chains will simply become a relic of history‼️

  18. God help Mama Salone. These Sierra Leoneans that the US government is deporting may lead to more economic hardship in our country as most of these deportees have been assisting to boost our economy in many ways. I think we must come together as a nation and bring up good suggestions in order to tackle problems that are affecting our country now and put aside politics.

    For example, members of this Forum should form one family and engage in production of something very eminent that will help ourselves and the Sierra Leone community at large.

    Note: I am not saying we should form an organisation now, but I am just using our communication platform here as an illustration. More deportees to our country, more pressure on our economy.

  19. sorry, the immigration politics in the USA and also in Europe is becoming more and more racist. The rightwing politics of the rich people is growing worldwide.

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