Sports Outside the Beltway

Miguel Tejada’s immigration status could be in trouble

Who thought immigration would become a sports issue. From the Houston Chronicle-

Miguel Tejada’s immigration status could be in peril in light of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s decision to ask the Department of Justice to investigate whether the new Astros shortstop lied to federal investigators in 2005.

Tejada, a native of the Dominican Republic, is a legal U.S. resident with a green card. Yet there are some instances in which he could be denied entry back into the country just by admitting he committed a crime for which he is being investigated.

“Obstruction of justice is considered under immigration law a crime involving moral turpitude,” said attorney Alexandre Afanassiev, who practices immigration litigation. “So the question then becomes, how long did he have his green card? Why? Because the law says that if you had your green card for less than five years and then committed a crime of moral turpitude, you can be subject to deportation. In other words, they can take your green card away because of that crime and (have you) sent home.”


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., announced Tuesday that he is asking Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate whether Tejada lied in 2005 to federal agents investigating whether former Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro perjured himself during the panel’s first set of hearings on steroids in baseball in March 2005. In those hearings, conducted several months before Palmeiro tested positive for steroids, the power-hitting first baseman denied using the banned substance.

Tejada was interviewed after Palmeiro claimed he likely tested positive because Tejada gave him steroid-tainted B-12 vitamins. During that interview, Tejada told investigators he had never used steroids and had no knowledge of other players who did. Yet in former Sen. George Mitchell’s report, Tejada’s former Oakland teammate, Adam Piatt, claimed he provided Tejada with steroids after the shortstop asked him about the substances.

Pro golfer, then a citizen of Trinidad & Tobago and now a duel citizen of Canada, had visa difficutlies at least twice during the 1990′s. Pro athletes working in the US aren’t immune.

I really don’t enough to say if lying to federal investigators is grounds for deportation or loss of residency. Lying to the feds is not a good idea under any circumstances, if Miguel did so, he then takes the blame for any consequences because of it.

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