Mamady Kourouma Has Been Selected To Be U.S. Flag Bearer at World Cup Closing Ceremony - But Doesn't Have A Passport Process To Get Travel Papers Usually Takes Six Months, Which Would Have been Long After Ceremony Finished - Schumer Cut Through Red Tape, Getting Process Done in 3 Weeks Instead of Three Months - Last Step Was Completed With only 2 Minutes To Spare No

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he and his staff have successfully cut through red tape and secured travel documents for Mamady Kourouma, a Jefferson High School student, to travel to the World Cup where he will be an official United States flag bearer.  Kourouma had faced numerous bureaucratic and timing hurdles and, before contacting Schumer office, it looked like he would not be able to receive his documents in time.


"It would have been devastating, both for Rochester's sports fans and for Mamady and his family, if he had been prevented from participating in this historic event because of bureaucratic red tape," said Schumer.  "Now he will be front a center, for all the world to see, representing America on the World Stage.  He will be able to witness America's victories first hand."


Mamady has been selected to be a CocaCola flag bearer, a program that gives young soccer fans the onceinalifetime chance to be official flag bearers and lead the teams out on to the pitch before 2010 FIFA World Cup games. The specific games that Mamady will participate in have yet to be determined.  He will also be participating in the closing ceremonies of the Cup, along with the 5 other CocaCola flag bearers.

In early May Schumer's office was alerted by the problem Mamady faced in securing a travel document for reentry to the United States.  Mamady is a citizen of Guinea who fled the country several years ago with his family, and after a brief stay in England, came to the US as a refugee and currently holds a green card, so he does not have a U. S. passport.  Therefore, to travel outside the country, Mamady needs a I131 travel document.  As part of this process, the person traveling needs to have their fingerprints taken, and have other biometric work done.  Schumer was able to expedite this appointment and paper work so the process took approximately 2 weeks instead of three months.  But, just when everything looked like it would work out, there was a last minute glitch.

United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) was ready to ship the documents, which were needed by June 4 th in order to leave the country by June 15th, when there was a discrepancy about the FedEx account number, which was needed to ship the document.  With only 2 minutes to spare, Schumer's office resolved the problems, and Mamady will be able to leave the country on June 15 th.

In all, a process that usually takes 3 months was accomplished in about 3 weeks, thanks to Schumer and his office.

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