Red Sox, Green Card?

Let me be clear before anyone gets the wrong idea: I think it’s dandy that we have foreign nationals of all stripes playing in the majors, and I’d be happy for a more liberal immigration policy. (Don’t get me started on Dubya’s 700 mile Fence to Nowhere.) I merely put this out as a question to the forum out of curiosity. I have many friends (mostly European) who have had considerable problem gaining the appropriate work visas and clearances to live here and practice their professions. It doesn’t look like Daisuke Matsuzaka or Kei Igawa (or any of their Latin teamates) have these problems. I can’t imagine they get stuck waiting on those monster lines down at INS that snake around the block. Good immigration lawyers, I’m sure, help. So how does it work? Team’s responsibility? Does MLB have some kind of arrangement that allows them to smooth things along? This would be a good one for Slate’s “Explainer,” but I’ll leave it to our distinguished readership….

5 comments… add one
  • I don’t know the details, but basically if you have an employer sponsor you and have no other problems, getting a visa is still pretty doable (though there may be some more hoops to go through post 9/11). If Daisuke Matsuzaka were an investment banker with Fidelity (sticking with the Boston theme) he would sail through just as easily.

    Fred Vincy YF December 1, 2006, 12:59 pm
  • I’m fairly certain that teams are given a set number of visas each year for int’l players. Every once in a while you’ll hear about some young prospect that had to spend an extra season playing the Dominican Summer League because his team ran out of visas.
    I could totally wrong however…

    Mike A. December 1, 2006, 1:07 pm
  • I know, I know, more “football” (soccer) talk from the Limey, but in Europe an overseas player will only get a work permit if they have played in, I think, 75% of their national team’s games over the previous two years. The idea, somewhat reasonably, is that only the best players from other countries should be worthy of a work visa – which is kind of how it is with all other professions (says the man with a work visa).
    God knows what the equivalent system is in this country, but I wanted to share.

    Sam December 1, 2006, 1:18 pm
  • Fred hit it.

    TJ December 1, 2006, 1:53 pm
  • …geez yf, you must be the only liberal yankee fan…but i guess that explains why you tend to be so generous to the sf’s on this site, when they’re tearing things up…to answer your question: money talks…

    dc December 1, 2006, 9:16 pm

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