US Refuses to Recognize Iroquois Passports
Lacrosse team blocked from foreign competition
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 13, 2010 2:53 AM CDT
Updated Jul 13, 2010 5:25 AM CDT
Members of the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team link hands to show team spirit in New York's Times Square yesterday.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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(Newser) – US officials are refusing to recognize passports held by Iroquois native Americans, blocking champion lacrosse players from traveling to a top international competition in Great Britain. The Iroquois Nationals, including players from upstate New York and Canada, have been traveling for 20 years with the passports, which were issued by a confederacy of six Iroquois nations, reports the New York Daily News.

The British Consulate has refused to issue travel visas to the 23 players because American authorities said they wouldn't be allowed back home. The State Department has offered to obtain expedited US passports for the team, but the Iroquois are insisting on traveling with their own passports, issued by an Indian nation recognized as sovereign by the US. "It's a huge deal because these documents mean so much to our sovereignty," said one player. Time is running out for the team, which is stranded in Manhattan and has already missed a game against Scotland.