Canadian little leaguer cannot attend world series in the U.S.
His name is Dio Gama .
The 13-year old is from Whalley, British Columbia.
His team won the Canadian national Little League championship.
And the team was headed to Williamsport, Pennsylvania – site of the Little League World Series.
Dio performed well during the championship game.
He hit two triples and had four RBI’s.
But the celebration turned to sadness when Dio reached his dad.
Dio started crying – he could not go with his team.
An immigration issue affecting Gio’s dad kept him from going to the world championship.
“He’s torn into 100 pieces,” Gio’s dad, Noe Gama told CBC Sports.
“As soon as the game was over he came to me and started to cry. It’s so difficult for him and me.”
Dio was born in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He has lived in Canada for three years.
Dio’s parents were born in Mexico.
His is seeking refugee status in Canada for more than 10 years.
But previously the father was denied legal status in Canada.
In 1997 he was convicted on a drug charge in the United States.
He reached a plea agreement.
That meant a 60-month prison sentence and agreeing to deportation to Mexico.
He served his sentence in Mexico .
In 2008 he arrived in Canada on a visitor visa claiming refugee protection.
Last month a Canadian judge agreed to hear the father’s case.
And because no decision has been reached on the case, the Gama family attorney advised Dio not to travel to the U.S.
The fear was that Dio might not be let back into Canada.
“This has always been my dream, to play for Canada at the World Series,” Dio told CBC Sports. “I was playing the national championship like it was my last game with my team.”
Dio knew that the possibility existed he could not travel with his team.
But he told no one until the team won the Little League Canadian championship.
“We were devastated,” coach Mike Marino told CBC Sports. “Not only is he a leader of the team, but he’s a great kid. He was devastated. We all are.”