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Strugeon speculated that uncertainty over the musicians' travel documents may have led to the questioning. Visitors from Finland are required to carry a valid passport and to fill out a visa waiver that allows them to stay in the United States for up to 90 days. They cannot work, however.
Strugeon said there may have been some uncertainty about whether the musicians would be earning money on the trip.
Two of the musicians are slated to return this year and are worried they may face other problems entering the country, in part because their passports have a big red flag. Immigration agents initially stamped "Refused Entry" on the passports, said Savolainen, and then later simply crossed that stamp out with a pen.
And organizers of the national FinnFest2008, which is expected to draw about 7,000 visitors to Duluth next summer, hope the incident won't keep these musicians from returning to Minnesota.
"There are a lot of people who want to see these musicians again," said Ralph Tuttilla, a St. Paul musician who hosted the visitors one night for dinner. "That's why some action needs to be taken."
Jean Hopfensperger 612-673-4511
Jean Hopfensperger email@example.com