I love Luke Rodgers and I’m sorry to learn that his U.S. visa application has been denied by the Immigration Service. Though information about the case is frustratingly scarce, Red Bulls General Manager Erik Soler has revealed in the past that the government learned of some information that was not disclosed on Luke’s first visa application. Soler was vague about the nature of the omission but did indicate that it was not a police matter.
If Luke in fact failed to disclose material information on his initial visa application, today’s news that his visa has been denied should not come as a great surprise. The visa process relies on applicants’ statements to the government on any number of important issues. The government does not have the resources to conduct detailed fact investigations into every applicant’s background. They are forced to rely on the truthfulness of the information provided, and they impose severe sanctions for knowingly omitting material information.
Indeed, once a person has made a knowing misrepresentation on his or her immigration visa application, that person often becomes inadmissible into the U.S. for life. That is a harsh result, to be sure, but it’s not hard to see why such a rule is necessary to protect our nation’s borders. It is the only rule that would provide a sufficient deterrent to providing false information in an effort to gain entry into the country.
Like I said, I really like what Luke Rodgers brought to our club in 2011. He was loads of fun to watch and sparked the Red Bulls unlike any other player we’ve seen in years. But, if he knowingly misled the Immigration Service (as Soler suggests), his ban from the United States is the logical and expected outcome. It is not the fault of the club and it is not the fault of the Immigration Service.
Luke, thanks for your service to the club. We wish you well.