Players warned about travel to Canada
NEW YORK -- The baseball players' association has warned members with criminal convictions or arrests to contact the union before trying to enter Canada.
Doyle Pryor, a union assistant general counsel, sent a memo to agents Thursday titled "immigration problems for players entering Canada." A copy of the memo was posted on bizofbaseball.com and later obtained by The Associated Press.
"Individuals who are not Canadian citizens may be detained at the border and, in certain cases may not be permitted to enter Canada at all, if they have any sort of past criminal record," he wrote. "Recently, Canadian authorities have stepped up enforcement of these laws, resulting in several non-Canadian players traveling to Toronto with their teams being detained at the border because of a past criminal record."
He warned that "even an arrest, conviction or suspended sentence many years ago for a minor crime, or a juvenile offense, can result in a border detention."
Three upcoming series at the Blue Jays are specified, involving Baltimore (May 28-30), Tampa Bay (May 31-June 2) and the New York Yankees (June 4-6).
"Disclosure of past criminal records can have potential employment ramifications for players, so you should advise players with such issues to contact the players' association for advice before disclosing any past criminal record to anyone else, including their traveling secretary or any other club official," Pryor wrote.
"Waiting until the last minute to address this issue may jeopardize the player's ability to enter Canada with his teammates and could result in discipline by the club."
A pamphlet of information from Canadian immigration was attached to the memo.
"There are certain offenses in Canada that are considered more major than they are in the United States," Orioles team travel coordinator Kevin Buck said. "Specifically, we were advised that things like DUI and that sort of thing are considered a felony in Canada. So we've just got to be careful about making sure we're aware of anything that anybody in our traveling party might have in their past to prepare for it before we head north."
AP freelance writer Ken Sins in Arlington, Texas, controbuted to this report.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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