NBA reached out to State Department in wake of President Trump’s immigration ban

Associated Press
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Lakers’ veteran Luol Deng was born in Wow, South Sudan.

Bucks rookie Thon Maker was also born in South Sudan.

Sudan was one of the countries listed in Donald Trump’s executive order that suspended entry to the United States for 90 days for people from certain nations with mostly Muslim populations (but, oddly, not the nations that provided the 9/11 terrorists). Part of Trump’s program has been put on hold after a federal judge in New York has granted a stay, saying that people with valid Visas could not be detained.

The NBA contacted the State Department before that ruling, reported Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

The National Basketball Association has contacted the State Department to understand how President Donald Trump’s executive order to suspend immigration from seven countries could impact the league’s players…

NBA spokesman Mike Bass issued a statement saying: “We have reached out to the State Department and are in the process of gathering information to understand how this executive order would apply to players in our league who are from one of the impacted countries.

“The NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world.”

The NBA’s primary concern was simple: If Deng or Maker traveled to Toronto for a game, or went to Africa as part of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program next summer, could they re-enter the country?

Deng came to this country at the age of five from the Sudan and has British citizenship, Maker played his high school ball in the USA and Canada and carries an Australian passport. Because of those facts their situation may be different from others trying to enter the country, but the NBA understandably wanted clarification.