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MLBPA warning: players with criminal records could be detained entering Canada

May 21, 2010, 8:17 AM EST

canadian flag.jpgBaseball and immigration: it’s not just about Arizona anymore!

The MLB Players Association sent a memo — marked urgent — to all player agents yesterday, warning those who represent non-Canadian players who have a past criminal record, that, “Under
Canadian immigration laws, 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.”

This has always been Canadian law, but according to the memo “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.” The memo doesn’t say who was detained.

It goes on:

Even an arrest, conviction or suspended sentence many years ago for a minor crime, or a juvenile offense, can result in a border detention and investigation to determine whether a player can be permitted to enter Canada, if the appropriate entry permit has not been obtained in
advance.

Apparently there is a disclosure form which people with criminal records coming into Canada can fill out which allows entry. Which leads to what I think is the most interesting line in the memo:

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.

I’m struggling to think of a situation in which Canadian border patrol employees would be aware of a player with a record while the team is not.  Do teams do background checks?  Are there disgruntled childhood friends of players ratting out old vandalism charges to Canadian immigration officials? If a guy has been with, say, the Red Sox for six or seven years and the team doesn’t know about something in his past, how could anyone else?

Oh well, such sticky situations is why these guys have a union. And either way, I suppose it will be a lot of fun to be a traveling secretary for the next few weeks. (“Wait, you did what?  Convicted or just charged?  Man, this is gonna be a lot of paperwork . . .”)

  1. Scott - May 21, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    So does this mean non-Canadian Blue Jays have already went through this process? What happens if the Jays trade for a player and he has a past? How confidential are the records, I am sure people could get into a lot of trouble if they release information on players they have. On the other hand…
    I am sure Lupica is waiting for the Yanks to go to Canada so the authorities can detain A-Rod and then Lupica can get the answers to the questions he wants.

  2. Moses Green - May 21, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    - Convicted? No, not convicted.
    – Are either of you homosexuals?
    – No, but we’re willing to try. Would they send us someplace special?

  3. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - May 21, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    I like the American-Canadian border, ’cause if you’re walking on the border with a friend, and you push your friend into Canada, he can’t push you back right away, ’cause first he has to go through customs.
    “What brings you to Canada?”:
    [Points to the side] “That asshole.”
    “When are you leaving?”
    “As soon as I regain my equilibrium!”
    RIP Mitch Hedburg
    captcha: wartiest brit (wtf?)

  4. hardjuge - May 21, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    Simple solution, Once again make baseball an American game by moving the Toronto franchise to some city in US where their present AAA team outdraws Toronto, surely there must be a few.

  5. Jamie - May 21, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    ‘The memo doesn’t say who was detained.’ Please God, let it be Jeter.

  6. Joey B - May 21, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    With all deference to the posters that call the AZ folk fascists, most countries are far more stringent than the US. It really isn’t all that crazy to have Canada say they don’t want criminals visiting their country.

  7. Joey B - May 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    “Simple solution, Once again make baseball an American game by moving the Toronto franchise to some city in US where their present AAA team outdraws Toronto, surely there must be a few.”
    The elegant solution is to break up Canada and Mexico into states and make one giant country out of it. I mean, I understand people from Canada better than people from Mississippi, and adding Mexico to the mix will simply codify reality.

  8. Ron - May 21, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Bunch of racists bastards. Profiling innocent people. This law obviously targets ‘certain’ people because of the way they look, and requires the Mounties to discriminate against them.
    I say an immediate boycott should be put into effect. No more hockey or moose, and whatever else Canada supplies. How come Al Sharpton hasn’t had something to say aobut this yet?

  9. Flipsy - May 21, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Have you looked at the attendance records of the past 5 seasons (or even this season alone)? The Jays are clearly not the first team to be relocated.

  10. YankeesfanLen - May 21, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Wouldn’t it be a hoot if it was Jeter? Lupica would have a heart attack diving for his iPhone.
    Captcha: barrier measure- What Blue Jays do to keep the al eAST OUT?

  11. Chris in MN - May 21, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    There is quite a difference between stopping someone at the point of entry into a country because of concerns about past indiscretions and the ability to randomly pull over someone and ask them to prove they have a right to be where they are.

  12. Joey B - May 21, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    “Bunch of racists bastards. Profiling innocent people. This law obviously targets ‘certain’ people because of the way they look, and requires the Mounties to discriminate against them.
    I say an immediate boycott should be put into effect. No more hockey or moose, and whatever else Canada supplies. How come Al Sharpton hasn’t had something to say aobut this yet?”
    Yup, imagine this place if AZ had passed the same law. Poor Craig would need another server to handle the traffic. The same people that posted continuously on the AZ threads are nowhere to be found. Obviously, it isn’t the same issue, but mark my words, if AZ follows Canada’s lead, there’d be people in here rcommending that Obama send in federal troops.

  13. Ste. - May 21, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    “Bunch of racists bastards. Profiling innocent people. This law obviously targets ‘certain’ people because of the way they look, and requires the Mounties to discriminate against them.
    I say an immediate boycott should be put into effect. No more hockey or moose, and whatever else Canada supplies. How come Al Sharpton hasn’t had something to say aobut this yet?”
    Ya, cause i’m so sure we Canadians (I am one), want criminals in our country. I wouldn’t. That law isn’t racist but nice of you to suggest it making yourself look like one, cause essentially what you’ve said is that you would let serious hardcore criminals in your country endangering lives of the true innocent people. Criminals are not innocent, keep them out of my damn country.

  14. Joey B - May 21, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    STE, I think he was being sarcastic. The site had about 1000 posts dedicated to the recent AZ law regarding immigrants, excoriating the AZ officials. There are some among us that perceive a double-standard when it is outsiders protecting their own borders. Seriously, if AZ closed its borders to criminals, this place would run amock.

  15. gary - May 21, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    Ste
    Since minorities are more likely to commit crimes than whites, this law is actually racist.

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