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house Bill H.R. 738

Should Visas be Available for Cubans to Play Baseball in the U.S.?

Argument in favor

There are already Cuban nationals playing professional baseball in the U.S. — this bill would simply allow them to do so through normal processes without having to defect.

Tobias's Opinion
···
11/02/2015
We have established special visas for foreign born professionals to work in the US. The same should apply to athletes.
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MJBuffalo's Opinion
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03/22/2016
I feel like this is a step in the right direction for Cuban relations. I do believe that we need to extend the possibility of visas to all Cuban citizens, so if the fame and talent of a small group can open the dialogue, I am all for it. Again -- I would vote "yay" with the express intent to expand that out to all Cuban citizens.
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AndrewGVN's Opinion
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11/02/2015
The process for Cubans to come to the US to play baseball should be easier, visas should be provided to them.
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Argument opposed

Baseball players shouldn’t be exempt from travel prohibitions that apply to the Cuban public. Either all Cubans should be eligible for visas or none should.

GrumpyMSgt's Opinion
···
11/01/2015
No visas or moving ahead of those already waiting. Unless they are bringing a special skill, i.e.: surgeon, nuclear scientist, etc., etc.. The ability to throw, catch, and hit a ball is not deserving of special treatment.
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BTSundra's Opinion
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11/02/2015
Unless they have a skill that truly benefits the country in some way, they should not have any priority.
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Aidan-WC's Opinion
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08/01/2016
Well, conducting this implementation for Cuban citizens may appear as a generous gesture on behalf of the federal government although it would be simply exemplifying incompetence on the behalf of agencies responsible for the management of Visas and law makers as well. Once in November we begin to pass comprehensive immigration legislation we could be bought to a very bright road broadening our visa enhancements to possibly a variety of foreigners to truly experience the American Dream due to their unique and adept abilities that are contributing to the further prosperity and advancement of our nation. Although, due to the contingency of current bureaucracies jeopardizing the ability for our officials to provide migrants with opportunities in a safe, orderly and supportive fashion. Instead of providing Cubans necessarily with infinite amount of sports recreational resources we should be exemplifying the matter of humbleness to welcome migrants universally for individuals of integrity completing the straight forward procedures to claim their civili liberties as being a United States citizen. In conclusion, if we want to look at a more narrative prospective of the scenario there are a decent community of Cubans in the Major League Baseball (MLB) although quote it may state in the details column of this bill that out of "the 868 players in the league only 18 are Cubans or more statistically (2%) as well. Now this may seem like a harsh claim coming from me but in actuality ITS TRULY NOT HERES WHY: Nations and individuals of all ethics groups scattered across the earth are every day attempting to peruse for occupational and academic opportunities in the United States. If there is 2% of Cubans in the MLB, What Percentage Of Nigerian players do you believe there are in the MLB? As far as my knowledge goes 0%. THIS IS COMMON FOR A SURPLUS OF NATIONS AS WELL. Listen granting and increase opportunities for strictly Cubans may be building our reputation throughout the eyes of some desperate Cubans and may be making the relationship more positive although this should not be a matter of focusing in depthly on just Cubans but by proposing equitable opportunities for athletic/recreational sports for individuals of all nations for prosperity! TO MAYBE RISE TO BE AN INCON IN MODERN DAY SPORTS AS WELL! THESE NEXT FOUR YEARS AS A MEW ADMINISTRATION STROLLS IN OFFICE THERE MUST BE A NEED FOR STABILIZATION OF THE VISA PROCESS BEOFRE ANY FUTHER INCREASE OF MIGRATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL MOST IMPERATIVELY. This source will provide a descriptive perspective on the factual demographics of the MLB Source: http://www.sportsbusinessnews.com/node/26907. Thank you for your time
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What is House Bill H.R. 738?

This bill would waive certain foreign assistance, travel, and trade prohibitions against Cuba for Cuban nationals who enter the U.S. on a visa to play professional baseball and return to Cuba with their earnings. The visa would only be valid for the duration of the baseball season, wouldn’t have to be renewed as long as the player remains with the same team.

The President would be prohibited from denying visas to these Cuban nationals under authorities that allow for entry restrictions to be applied to certain classes of foreign nationals that could be determined to be detrimental to U.S. interests.

This legislation would not be affected by the economic embargo requirements against Cuba under the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996.

Impact

Cuban baseball players, professional baseball franchises, and the President.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 738

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: In the summer of 2015, President Obama announced that official diplomatic relations with Cuba would be reinstated — leading to speculation that the travel ban and trade embargo would be lifted entirely as sanctions are eased.

This legislation has 14 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Democrats.


Of Note: Baseball is an immensely popular sport in Cuba, and the allure of playing in the world’s best professional baseball league has led many Cuban baseball players to come to America in the hopes of making a Major League Baseball roster.

On the MLB’s 2015 opening day, 18 of the 868 total players on MLB rosters were Cuban, or about 2 percent. Most of these players had to defect and abandon their lives in Cuba to pursue their careers in the U.S. Typically these players are able to sign as free agents or enter the MLB draft if they successfully defect, but the process of defecting is complicated and sometimes dangerous.

In 2014, there were five Cubans who were selected for the MLB All-Star Game, and there are two Cubans participating in the 2015 World Series — Kendrys Morales from the Kansas City Royals and Yoenis Cespedes from the New York Mets.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Keith Ellison)

AKA

Baseball Diplomacy Act

Official Title

To waive certain prohibitions with respect to nationals of Cuba coming to the United States to play organized professional baseball.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedFebruary 4th, 2015
    We have established special visas for foreign born professionals to work in the US. The same should apply to athletes.
    Like (7)
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    No visas or moving ahead of those already waiting. Unless they are bringing a special skill, i.e.: surgeon, nuclear scientist, etc., etc.. The ability to throw, catch, and hit a ball is not deserving of special treatment.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Unless they have a skill that truly benefits the country in some way, they should not have any priority.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Well, conducting this implementation for Cuban citizens may appear as a generous gesture on behalf of the federal government although it would be simply exemplifying incompetence on the behalf of agencies responsible for the management of Visas and law makers as well. Once in November we begin to pass comprehensive immigration legislation we could be bought to a very bright road broadening our visa enhancements to possibly a variety of foreigners to truly experience the American Dream due to their unique and adept abilities that are contributing to the further prosperity and advancement of our nation. Although, due to the contingency of current bureaucracies jeopardizing the ability for our officials to provide migrants with opportunities in a safe, orderly and supportive fashion. Instead of providing Cubans necessarily with infinite amount of sports recreational resources we should be exemplifying the matter of humbleness to welcome migrants universally for individuals of integrity completing the straight forward procedures to claim their civili liberties as being a United States citizen. In conclusion, if we want to look at a more narrative prospective of the scenario there are a decent community of Cubans in the Major League Baseball (MLB) although quote it may state in the details column of this bill that out of "the 868 players in the league only 18 are Cubans or more statistically (2%) as well. Now this may seem like a harsh claim coming from me but in actuality ITS TRULY NOT HERES WHY: Nations and individuals of all ethics groups scattered across the earth are every day attempting to peruse for occupational and academic opportunities in the United States. If there is 2% of Cubans in the MLB, What Percentage Of Nigerian players do you believe there are in the MLB? As far as my knowledge goes 0%. THIS IS COMMON FOR A SURPLUS OF NATIONS AS WELL. Listen granting and increase opportunities for strictly Cubans may be building our reputation throughout the eyes of some desperate Cubans and may be making the relationship more positive although this should not be a matter of focusing in depthly on just Cubans but by proposing equitable opportunities for athletic/recreational sports for individuals of all nations for prosperity! TO MAYBE RISE TO BE AN INCON IN MODERN DAY SPORTS AS WELL! THESE NEXT FOUR YEARS AS A MEW ADMINISTRATION STROLLS IN OFFICE THERE MUST BE A NEED FOR STABILIZATION OF THE VISA PROCESS BEOFRE ANY FUTHER INCREASE OF MIGRATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL MOST IMPERATIVELY. This source will provide a descriptive perspective on the factual demographics of the MLB Source: http://www.sportsbusinessnews.com/node/26907. Thank you for your time
    Like (5)
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    I feel like this is a step in the right direction for Cuban relations. I do believe that we need to extend the possibility of visas to all Cuban citizens, so if the fame and talent of a small group can open the dialogue, I am all for it. Again -- I would vote "yay" with the express intent to expand that out to all Cuban citizens.
    Like (5)
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    Pls set a rule you can live with, go with it and let it stand. It should serve any country's athletes equally and be able to be defended.
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    The process for Cubans to come to the US to play baseball should be easier, visas should be provided to them.
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    If the US is going to issue Visas to Cuban ball players they should allow any Cuban who wants a Visa to work in the US. Y'all it ain't right to willie nillie pick and choose.
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    If it is OK with Cuba then we should reciprocate with a timely visa.
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    Relations with Cuba do need to be normalized- isolation as a policy has worked about as well as assuming teens will remain abstinent as a form of birth control. Our immigration system is broken, and our foreign policy toward nation-states with whom we have disagreements is outdated and dominated by a philosophy from the 1920s held as gospel by the right wing. That said, the way to correcting a broken immigration system and outdated foreign policy isn't through breaking it further. The unfortunate reality is that the only way to fix these things is to vote out of office the people who no longer reflect the values of We, The People and get people into office who do represent us, not pass more broken legislation.
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    No. No. No. We don't need to put US dollars into Castro's pockets.
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    Absolutely not! Just because they can hit or throw a baseball, does not give them the right to special treatment.
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    All Cubans should be allowed to visit just as all Americans should be allowed to visit Cuba, people with the correct connections have been for years, ordinary citizens should be allowed to as well before Cuba changes forever
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    We should allow this and move toward full normalization with Cuba.
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    What makes them any better than anyone else!
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    No if baseball players get the visas then the general public should.
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    Because it will make the game more competitive
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    Who the flip cares???
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    Yes, we allow athletes from all over the world to come to the US. Cuba should be treated the same as any other country.
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    .
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