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Trump Executive Order Should Not Impact Athletes

Per the American Immigration Council, the President’s proclamation becomes effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET), and suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who:

● Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;

● Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and

● Does not have a valid official travel document on the effective date, or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.

Importantly, non-immigrant visa holders are not included in the proclamation. This means that professional athletes and their staff with O and P visas used to compete in the U.S. should not be impacted.

However, the proclamation requires that within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review non-immigrant programs and recommend to the President other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers.

Since foreign national athletes arguably do not “take jobs” from American workers, I would hope they will not be impacted in the future. However, sports leagues, tours and events should continue to monitor this situation to be prepared to weigh in on behalf of their constituents if necessary.

* Steven M. Ladik is past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and represents numerous professional golfers on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR. He also serves as the outside Immigration Counsel to the National Football League. He is a Partner at Seltzer Chadwick Soefje & Ladik, PLLC.

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