U.S. Government Order Will Allow Certain Professional Athletes to Enter the U.S. Despite Travel Bans

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that many professional athletes and their essential staff would be exempt from President Trump’s recent Executive Orders and Proclamations limiting immigration options for many foreign workers. President Trump has issued Orders barring entry into the United States of anyone who has been in China, Iran, the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, or Ireland within 14 days of their arrival in the United States. It is also anticipated that this exemption will cover the bar on individuals who have been in Brazil within the 14-day period immediately preceding entry to the United States. For further details on these entry bans, please see our client alerts at the this link.

The DHS official stated that “Professional sporting events provide powerful first- and second-order benefits to the national economy … including civic pride and national unity.” The announcement recognizes that professional sports leagues are well-suited to support the resumption of sporting events because of their ability to “manage player movement and the scheduling of events, and take other measures to ensure player, staff, and fan safety is appropriately addressed.”

While the order does not identify any specific traditional sports or esports leagues that will be covered by this exemption, McCown + Evans anticipates being able to use the order to our advantage in assisting esports clients enter the U.S.