In support of the Trump Administration’s reopening of the economy, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf signed an order that exempts certain foreign professional athletes who compete in professional sporting events organized by certain leagues, including their essential staff and their dependents, from proclamations barring their entry into the U.S.
“Professional sporting events provide much needed economic benefits, but equally important, they provide community pride and national unity,” said Acting Secretary Wolf. “In today’s environment, Americans need their sports. It’s time to reopen the economy and it’s time we get our professional athletes back to work.”
The order, signed on May 22, 2020, states that it is in the national interest to except aliens who compete in professional sporting events organized by certain professional sporting groups, including their professional staff, team and league leadership, spouses, and dependents, from entry restrictions laid out in Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, and 9996.
The Department will work with the professional sporting groups to identify the specific athletes, essential staff, team and league leadership, spouses, and dependents covered by this exemption, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour, the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour, the National Hockey League, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the Women’s Tennis Association.
This order does not exempt individuals from inspection by Customs and Border Protection or any other agency requirements. The Acting Secretary may add or remove those exempted from the list based on assessments of national interest, including the plans of the relevant professional sporting groups to support sporting events in the United States that do not cause an unnecessary risk to the public health.