Thursday, April 22, 2004

Baseball & Immigration

From the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required):

Some 200 of the game's hottest new talents are stuck back in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Mexico or wherever scouts found them earlier this year -- waiting for visas.

Managers estimate that each of the 30 minor league clubs is missing between five and 10 players who can't get into the U.S. The quota for the kind of visa they need is 66,000 per year; when the cap was reached in March, the minors, which don't firm up their rosters until spring, were out of luck....

Minor league players must have a H-2B, in the quota-limited visa category that also applies to fruit pickers and seasonal day laborers....

The ultimate solution, one that would solve the problem of which this saga is only a piquant example, is for Congress to stop imposing visa quotas to deprive the U.S. of everything from computer geniuses to ordinary folk willing to work hard at jobs Americans don't want.

The WSJ warns that if the problem isn't resolved, American teams will move their teams to where the talent is found (another form of "outsourcing").


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