Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 573

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.

Gilberto's Opinion
···
05/30/2017
Visas should be available for all Cubans not just baseball players
Like (158)
Follow
Share
···
05/28/2017
Yes, they should. And while we're at it, we should extend those rights to all Cubans, provided they pass our rigorous immigration test.
Like (58)
Follow
Share
Craig's Opinion
···
05/30/2017
We should have normal relations with Cuba. The Cold War is over and they do not pose any threat.
Like (36)
Follow
Share

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.

Karen's Opinion
···
05/29/2017
All Cubans should have an opportunity to apply for visas. No need to favor athletes over other worthy citizens of Cuba.
Like (83)
Follow
Share
Ron's Opinion
···
05/29/2017
If they apply the visa rules evenly to all, it's ok. If it's a favor to rich guys who own baseball teams, no.
Like (63)
Follow
Share
Michael's Opinion
···
05/29/2017
All or none. As long as the individual passes the visa screening give them a visa.
Like (42)
Follow
Share

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
    IntroducedJanuary 13th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 573?

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. 573

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: In the summer of 2015, President Barack 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.

During the last session of Congress, this legislation had 14 cosponsors in the House, all of whom were Democrats.


Of NoteBaseball 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.

    Visas should be available for all Cubans not just baseball players
    Like (158)
    Follow
    Share
    All Cubans should have an opportunity to apply for visas. No need to favor athletes over other worthy citizens of Cuba.
    Like (83)
    Follow
    Share
    If they apply the visa rules evenly to all, it's ok. If it's a favor to rich guys who own baseball teams, no.
    Like (63)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, they should. And while we're at it, we should extend those rights to all Cubans, provided they pass our rigorous immigration test.
    Like (58)
    Follow
    Share
    All or none. As long as the individual passes the visa screening give them a visa.
    Like (42)
    Follow
    Share
    We should have normal relations with Cuba. The Cold War is over and they do not pose any threat.
    Like (36)
    Follow
    Share
    They all should be able to. It makes no sense to single out just baseball players.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    No - make visas available for all Cubans, not just athletes.
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    Why should professional athletes get special consideration ? Visas to live and work in the U.S. should not be limited to the wealthy.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    All Cubans should be given Visas, not only sports players. If anything we should look at giving educators the first Visas
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    All Cubans or none should get visas - and I would support all.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely! Why not extend visas to ALL law abiding Cubans?
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Keep borders open. Our current unemployment rate indicates that tighter employment conditions will cause wages to rise, profit margins to fall, employers to start layoffs, and the stock market will roll over. As anyone knows, reducing sources of competition, in this case foreign workers, increases complacency of US workforce, thereby decreasing US competitiveness over time. This is really simple stuff!
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    A Cuban should not have to be a baseball star in order to be able to receive a visa, and even if they are, they shouldn't have to remain on the same team in order to keep the visa. Cuban people deserve the same entry and visas into the United States that would be given to immigrants from any other country.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Is this a new method of supporting Cuba? Baseball players send US currency home to help grandmother.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Visas should be available to all Cubans.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Why are we giving exemptions to Cuban baseball players? We shouldn't pick and choose which Cuban nationals are allowed to come to U.S. without visa restrictions. The restrictions should be lifted for all Cubans! And this misguided policy towards the country should end!
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Visas should be available to all law abiding Cubans. What a lovely way to help promote democracy!
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Grant visas to all Cubans.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    As much as I would like to say that there should be an act that would allow visas for all Cubans, the reality is that it's not going to happen right away -- it's not going to start with an all or none act. An act like this, which, if passed, sticks its foot in the door on this issue, and shows progress. It's a step in the right direction, because if Cubans can get visas to play baseball, why can't the rest? It's an inevitable snowball effect. (Plus, it's baseball! If America and Cuba can find some common ground over a sport, then we can find common ground over other issues as well)
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE