Little League pitcher not enrolled in school
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Danny Almonte, the Little League sensation facing questions about his age and legal status, has not been enrolled in school since arriving in the United States last year, according to New York City school officials.
Local education officials told CNN on Thursday that their records show that Almonte has not enrolled as a student in any city schools, despite laws requiring education for children between the ages of 6 and 16.
Almonte, a native of the Dominican Republic, moved to New York 18 months ago. The boy apparently has not attended school since then.
The city Department of Children's Services said it would send a representative to the Almonte house in the Bronx to facilitate getting Almonte and any siblings who are not enrolled into school for this upcoming year.
Jen Falk, the spokeswoman, told CNN there is information that another player for the Rolando Paulino All-Stars may not have attended school despite being enrolled.
Meanwhile, Little League Baseball announced Thursday that it would accept the final decision of the government of the Dominican Republic to determine the age of Almonte following reports that the player may be too old to play.
"Little League Baseball has been in contact with senior U.S. officials in the State Department, as well as those familiar with the process now under way in the Dominican Republic," Stephen Keener, president of Little League Baseball, said in a statement released from his office in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
"We are confident that the matter is being handled appropriately by the Dominican Republic, and we have every reason to abide by its determination. Once the determination is made on Danny Almonte's age, the Little League Baseball Charter Committee will meet to discuss the issue," the statement said.
The pitching star of the Rolando Paulino All-Stars -- a team dubbed the "Bronx Baby Bombers" -- is facing questions about his age and legal status in the United States.
Records uncovered by Sports Illustrated in the Dominican Republic suggest that Almonte, whose 70-plus mph fastballs turned heads and dominated opposing batters during the series, is 14 -- two years old than Little League rules allow.
The news prompted the Little League to announce Monday that it would investigate the discrepancy.
In an interview with a local New York television station, Almonte's mother says she cannot explain the other records that show her son's birth date as April 7, 1987. "I don't know where it came from, I don't know who came up with that. I just don't have no answer," said Sonia Rojas, who maintained that her son was born April 7, 1989. "I have his birth certificate, I have his older brother's birth certificate as well plus mine to prove it."
Separately, a U.S. official said earlier this week that Almonte's "status in the United States had expired" and "he is no longer in the country legally."
Normally, INS permits an international citizen on a standard visa, such as Almonte's, an initial stay of six months. A six-month extension can be sought, for a maximum one-year stay. Officials said Almonte was awarded a standard six-month visa last year but that no extension of it had been sought.
The "Baby Bombers" were welcomed home as conquering heroes Tuesday. The team captured the city's hearts by reaching the U.S. championship game of the Little League World Series.
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