Cablegate: Repatriation of Detained Aliens to Nigeria

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 143469


1. Mission shares the concern of Washington agencies that
criminal aliens be repatriated without undue delay to their
country of nationality. We want to work jointly with all
concerned agencies to facilitate and speed repatriation of
Nigerian criminal aliens.

2. We would welcome the opportunity to demarche the GON on
the issue of delayed repatriation of the 81 criminal aliens
of immediate concern. However, the Department needs first to
obtain for us the case-by-case details that will allow us to
address this issue effectively. We need to know in each case
whether the Department believes that the Nigerian Mission to
the U.S. is merely dragging its feet or whether proof of
nationality (i.e., passport) is not available. At this
point, we do not know why the Nigerian Mission has not
documented these 81 persons. If this information is known to
Washington agencies, we, too, need to have it.

3. If the USG possesses proof of Nigerian nationality, our
demarche would logically take a different form than if we
lack such proof. In cases where we have such proof, we
should insist that the GON take responsibility for its
nationals. If we lack such proof in some cases, we may need
to work cooperatively with the GON to locate evidence to
substantiate Nigerian nationality. We seriously doubt that
in past years the GON filed passport applications in such a
way that systematic retrieval would be possible. While the
advent of machine-readable passports several years ago may
have improved file retrieval, it is likely that few (if any)
of the 81 came to the U.S. with MRPs.

4. If we make our demarche at sufficiently high levels and
with the right people, Mission believes that the GON will
work with us. However, GON law enforcement agencies are
critically underfunded. The USG may need to commit new
resources to the effort, especially if visits to civil status
registries in remote locations are required. Our anti-fraud
unit is insufficiently staffed to resolve the cases already
before it and could not be tapped for this purpose.

5. Mission would also like to know what is being sought from
the GON beyond acceptance of the 81 persons now at issue. If
there appear to be systemic problems, such as lack of
communication between the Nigerian Mission to the U.S. and
Immigration Headquarters in Abuja, we would be pleased to see
if we could help facilitate improvement.

6. We believe the GON seeks information on convictions in
order to avail itself of a Nigerian law that criminalizes
conduct (such as smuggling drugs) that brings Nigeria into
disrepute. Post can provide further detail on this law if
the Department requires it.

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