Iroquois Update: U.S.-Born Players Cleared for Flight, Canada-Born Still Waiting
Some members of the Iroquois lacrosse team have been cleared to fly to Manchester for the World Championships. However, that only applies to members of the team that were born in the U.S. The U.S. State Department cleared the players who were under their jurisdiction to travel using their own Iroquois passports. Since those players were cleared, the U.K. agreed to grant them one-time visas. The travel of the Canadian-born players is still uncertain, however.
The team remains optimistic that the Canadian-born players and their families will be granted travel, but nothing is assured at this moment. The team is making contact with Canada’s version of the State Department to see if the same offer will be made to those players who fall under Canadian jurisdiction.
Tuesday, State Department spokesman J.P. Crowley said, “We’re trying to see if there’s a way to help them. The easiest way to accomplish what they want to accomplish is to get them a U.S. passport. We’ve been willing to do that, you know, for a number of days and we stand ready to do that today.”
One of the main problems with the Iroquois passports is that they are low tech and are not acceptable under the new, stricter immigration laws. In fact, parts of the passports issued by the Iroquois Confederacy are hand-written. The players feel that using U.S. passports is an attack against their identity.
The team will arrive in Manchester, England Thursday afternoon, only a few hours before their first game against host England.