The headquarters of the Liberia Immigration Service or LIS was a scene of sorrow and tears when relatives and friends went to receive family members deported from the United States of America for crimes committed and convicted of.
Immigration officers prevented reporters from interviewing the deportees and refused to release their names to the media on grounds that they are Liberians and deserve the right of protection from the Government of Liberia, said Abraham Dolley, Press and Public Affairs Director of LIS.
The Ministry of Justice and the Liberia Immigration Service received the 17 Liberians from the United States on Tuesday, 25 April onboard a chartered flight. According to Dolley, government is under obligation to protect their civil rights and ensure that they return to normal life.
Mostly males, the deportees were charged for various crimes committed in the U.S., convicted and subsequently served their sentences before being sent back home. Crimes committed include robberies, rape, street fight and illegal stay in the United States, among others. They were received by the Liberia Immigration Service and turned over to their relatives, who signed for them with the understanding of three months of psychosocial consoling in order to put them back on track with normal life.
The deported Liberians were transported from the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County onboard a LIS truck with police escort to the LIS headquarters in Monrovia, dressed in white T-shirts with their belongings in rice bags.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne