February 9, 2012

Sen. Franken Helps Swarm Staff Clear Customs

from press release

ST. PAUL, Minn. – U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) went to bat for the Minnesota Swarm Lacrosse team this week to help ensure that the team's new assistant coach, director of scouting, and equipment manager – all Canadian citizens - had the proper visas and could clear U.S. Customs in time for games Friday and Sunday in St. Paul.

On Monday, the team, along with officials from the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, contacted Senator Franken for help when it looked like the time necessary to process the visas would prevent the three Canadian citizens from getting approval to enter the United States until next week. Without the visas, the three would have been unavailable for games with Edmonton and Rochester this weekend.

Senator Franken's staff spent Monday and Tuesday working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service to secure approval of the proper visas, and all three arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on Thursday. Sen. Franken called Swarm Co-owner and Vice President Andy Arlotta on Thursday morning to inform him of the outcome.

"As a lifelong Minnesota sports fan, I was glad to be able to help our hometown team this week," Sen. Franken said. "I told Andy Arlotta that I haven't been to a Swarm game yet this year, and that now I have some incentive to get to Xcel Center to see them play before the season ends in April."

The three Swarm personnel who arrived in Minnesota today are first-year Assistant Coach Bobby Keast, Director of Western Scouting Jake Elliott, and Equipment Manager Derek Eckensviller.

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