Rene Oriental and Salvador Paredes found out the hard way not to trust the neighborhood bride salesman:
A man came to his house with a proposition. Oriental was offered just under $4,000 to marry a stranger and take her to the United States on his baseball work visa. As Oriental recalls, "they tell me that that's fair … everything is fair for the American Consulate. I believe in that person. I trust in that person."
A similar thing happened to me where Oriental's part was played by a girl on the corner, I only had $40, and the mysterious stranger was an officer of the Calumet City Police Department Vice Squad. Those charges were dropped after I was 'counselled' by the judge in closed chambers, but these young Dominicans were not so lucky:
Oriental, Paredes and numerous other minor league ballplayers were summoned back to the consulate and faced with their worst nightmare — their visas were permanently canceled and they were banned from setting foot on American soil.
Paredes cried as he recalled that day, and said in Spanish, "My blood pressure dropped. Everything, everything, crumbled, everything I thought, my plans, the major leagues and all that. I thought of my family's future and my future, everything."
So beware the next time you are solicited to participate in a sham marriage, you may go to jail or you may be deported. Unless the chick is really hot, then totally do it. -KD
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