Entertainment

Trump Put A Stop To The MLB And Cuban Baseball Federation Deal And Here’s Why It Matters

The Trump administration on Monday canceled a deal that would have made it easier for Cuban baseball players to compete professionally in the U.S. The nixed deal is a reversal of a policy from former President Obama’s administration created to soften relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The Trump administration saw different as they argued that the sport’s governing body is part of the Cuban government and the deal would have violated U.S. trade law. The deal, which would have run through October 2021, allowed Cuban players to sign with teams under similar rules as other international players from Japan and South Korea.

Players who were over 25 years old would be free to sign with organizations that paid a “release fee” to a Cuban baseball club.

The U.S. economic embargo on Cuba currently denies Americans from doing business with Cuba’s government. The Obama administration’s ruling had cleared a pathway for an agreement between Major League Baseball and the Cuban Baseball Federation reached late last year.

The deal was designed to allow Cuban baseball players to join U.S. baseball teams without having to defect, which was standard in previous years.
The Obama administration hoped that the policy would create a system where Cuban players would no longer have to defect from the Cuban government, which commonly involved dangerous journeys at the hands of human smugglers.

“Establishing a safe, legal process for entry to our system is the most important step we can take to ending the exploitation and endangerment of Cuban players who pursue careers in Major League Baseball,” Tony Clark, executive director for the MLB players’ union in a statement back in December.

Just last week the Cuban federation released its first group of players able to sign contracts with MLB organizations, and some were expected to be playing in the U.S. this year.

Cuba has produced some of MLB’s biggest stars. Many of them defected on their own and faced deadly circumstances to make it here.

Among the most notable recent players that have defected from Cuba are
Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes. All have had well documented stories of their defections from Cuba and the perilous journeys they took to get to the U.S.

MLB sent a letter to the Treasury and State Departments, outlining the purpose of its agreement and the stories of players that have defected. MLB even requested a meeting with government officials, though no meeting was ever granted.

The cancelled deal has gotten criticism from the Cuban Baseball Federation and advocates who say Cuban players will be further placed in danger.

Many in the baseball community see the canceled deal as a major blow to incoming talent and puts more players at risk. MLB said on Monday that their primary goal is to “end the human trafficking of baseball players from Cuba.”

The Cuban Baseball Federation spoke out on Twitter about the disappointment of the reversed policy. They said the “politically motivated attacks on the deal hurt players, their families, and fans.”

The canceled policy is also a political win Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who fought the deal between MLB and the Cuban Baseball Federation. Rubio challenged the policy saying it was in the benefit of the Cuban government rather then in the interest of the baseball players.

“The reason Cuban baseball players have to escape & seek asylum to play in America is not U.S. law or policy The reason is the Cuban govt won’t let them leave to play here,” Rubio said on Twitter.

What’s next for Cuban baseball players that want to play for MLB?

Without a policy in place, Cuban players may have to return to defection which could continue the dangerous trend of smuggling. Overall, this is a huge blow to Cuban players and an even bigger one to the game of baseball.

One of the players who defected from Cuba is New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman. Chapman, who spoke with media on Monday, said the news is a blow to the many young aspiring Cuban players who want to come to MLB.

“It is definitely a sensitive topic, so many things behind it. Anytime you are talking about baseball and politics, it’s a very sensitive subject. But, I just feel bad for those young ball players, who are probably not going to have the same chance to play here,” Chapman said through Yankees’ interpreter Marlin Abreu. “It’s definitely difficult for a lot of Cuban players playing at this level here in the States. The way we got here was, it was tough, to say the least.

One thing is for sure, the cancelled policy would have created more opportunities for younger players and allowed them to avoid the dangerous and costly process of defecting. This now leaves many players in Cuba searching for answers on how to move forward with their major league aspirations.

READ: 21 Latino Baseball Players That Are Poised To Make An Impact This Season

With This New Rule, Migrants Passing Through Mexico Will No Longer Be Eligible To Seek Asylum In The US

Things That Matter

With This New Rule, Migrants Passing Through Mexico Will No Longer Be Eligible To Seek Asylum In The US

ImmigrationEquality / Instagram

The US will end asylum protections for Central Americans and others who cross through Mexico to reach the southern border, the Trump administration announced Monday, a sweeping, unprecedented move that will quickly be challenged in court.

The new move, which bars asylum for any individual who crosses through a third country but does not apply there for protection before reaching the US southern border, takes effect Tuesday in the form of a regulatory change.

In a move that many are saying is illegal, Trump has moved to limit asylum protections for migrants from Central America.

Credit: @AP / Twitter

The Trump administration on Monday moved to dramatically limit the ability of Central American migrants to claim asylum if they enter the United States by land through Mexico, the latest attempt by the White House to limit immigration and toughen the US asylum process amid overcrowded conditions at border facilities.

The rule from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security would prohibit migrants who have resided or “transited en route” in a third country from seeking asylum in the US, therefore barring migrants traveling through Mexico from being able to claim asylum and as a result, drastically limit who’s eligible for asylum.

The new rule affects anyone who travels through a third country before seeking asylum in the US.

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

It becomes the latest in a series of attempts by the Trump administration to actively deter asylum seekers from reaching the border. 

Many are saying that with this one rule change, the US is turning its back on the entire asylum process and likely breaking US and international law.

Many are describing the new rule as completely violating both US and international law.

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

Lee Gelernt, the ACLU attorney who has led efforts to contest the Trump administration’s immigration policies in court, said the organization will challenge the new asylum rule, arguing that it is inconsistent with U.S. and international law.

“The administration is effectively trying to end asylum at the southern border,” Gelernt said. “The administration has already tried once to enact an asylum ban for individuals who cross between ports of entry and the courts struck it down because Congress has made a commitment to provide protection to individuals regardless of where they cross. The administration is now attempting an even broader bar on asylum based on which countries you transited through, but Congress made clear that it’s irrelevant whether you had to walk through other countries to get to safe haven in the United States.”

The ACLU and other immigrant’s rights organizations are already threatening immediate legal challenges.

The move is almost certain to trigger swift legal challenges, because the US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains broad provisions allowing foreigners who reach US soil to apply for asylum if they claim a fear of persecution in their native countries.

An American Civil Liberties Union attorney who has been challenging Trump administration immigration policies in court said the organization would seek an injunction “immediately.”

Perhaps most disturbing, the rule change also affects unaccompanied minor children.

Credit: @TexasTribune / Twitter

Kids who come to the US border to seek asylum would now be forced to return to Mexico and first attempt a claim at asylum there.

Democratic officals pointed out the irony of Trump forcing migrants fleeing violence in their home country to seek asylum in a country he’s described as full of violence and rapists.

Credit: @HouseForeign / Twitter

Under US law, migrants are allowed to claim asylum once on US soil. There’s a caveat, however, for those who come through safe third countries, meaning countries that the US has entered into an agreement with.

The United Nations’ refugee agency defines “safe country,” in part, as “being countries in which refugees can enjoy asylum without any danger.”

But Trump’s own statements on Mexico could undercut that definition. In tweets, the President has called Mexico “one of the most dangerous country’s in the world” and claimed that the murder rate in the country has increased.

“The Coyotes and Drug Cartels are in total control of the Mexico side of the Southern Border. They have labs nearby where they make drugs to sell into the U.S. Mexico, one of the most dangerous country’s in the world, must eradicate this problem now. Also, stop the MARCH to U.S.” Trump tweeted in April.

Many took to Twitter to express their doubt about whether the president even understands how international treaties work.

Credit: @GenYDiogenes / Twitter

“This latest regulation is an attempt to close down one of the few remaining avenues for people in need of protection,” said Ur Jaddou, former chief counsel for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

“The only ray of light for those seeking safety is that Congress was clear when it enacted the asylum law and this attempt to circumvent it by regulation will likely see the same fate of other Trump administration attacks on the law and result in a federal court injunction.”

READ: After Being Denied Asylum By The US Some Migrants Are Returning Home With Mexico’s Help

People Across Twitter Are Left Saying WTF After Trump Says He Admires Former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta Because He’s Hispanic

Things That Matter

People Across Twitter Are Left Saying WTF After Trump Says He Admires Former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta Because He’s Hispanic

C-SPAN

On Friday it was reported that Trump’s Labor Secretary, Alex Acosta, the only Latino member of his cabinet, would be resigning. The news came as the secretary was under intense scrutiny for having let an alleged sexual predator off easy.

Trump’s press conference was already off to a strange start, even by Trump standards, but it was his comments about Alex Acosta’s heritage that really sent Twitter abuzz.

Trump’s Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is resigning amid criticism of his brokering of a plea deal for alleged sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein in a child sex case.

Credit: @cnnbrk / Twitter

President Trump’s embattled labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, announced his resignation on Friday amid continuing questions about his handling of a sex crimes case involving the financier Jeffrey Epstein when Mr. Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Florida.

But it was Trump’s handling of the resignation and press conference that really sent Twitter into overdrive.

President Trump delivered lengthy and rambling remarks to reporters with soon-to-be former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta by his side. Trump announced Acosta is resigning in the wake of nationwide outrage over his gift of a sweetheart deal to accused child rapist and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

When Trump announced that Alex Acosta was leaving his administration he added in that the Labor Secretary was Hispanic not once, but twice.

First, he said, “He’s a Hispanic man. He went to Harvard.” And he later added, “He’s Hispanic, which I so admire because maybe it was a little tougher for him and maybe not.”

Now with Acosta out, Trump has zero Hispanics in his cabinet.

Credit: @PhilipRucker / Twitter

Acosta was the first Latino appointee to Trump’s mostly straight, cisgender, white, and male cabinet. The president has since nominated Jovita Carranza to be Small Business Administator, a cabinet level position, but she has not yet been confirmed. Trump has notably appointed very few women and minorities to the federal judiciary or top positions in his administration.

This is not the first time Trump has tokenized people from minority groups. During his 2016 presidential campaign, he singled out a a supporter of color, saying “Look at my African American over here.” He also reportedly suggested that he only wanted short Jewish guys — not black people — to be “counting” his money.

But it was really the Twitter reactions that made this story. Here are some of the best:

One Twitter user pointed out the president had just committed the cardinal sin that so many non-POC committ: the “I’m not a racist because I have a POC friend” excuse but this time on national television.

There are so many good memes, like this one that basically shows our collective reaction to Trump’s words.

Credit: @thegandiman / Twitter

Let’s quickly recap.

Trump went to unusually great lengths to defend and praise Acosta, at one point praising him for his heritage.

“He was a great student at Harvard,” Trump said of his outgoing Labor Secretary. “He’s Hispanic, which I so admire, because maybe it was a little tougher for him – and maybe not. But he did an unbelievable job as the secretary of Labor.”

Many questioned how he could say he admires Hispanics given his treatment of largely Hispanic and Latino migrants seeking asylum in the US.

Credit: @atrupar / Twitter

Seriously, Trump’s rhetoric against people of color, and Latinos in particular, has been nothing short of cruel, mean, and inciting hate.

Then there’s those who offered up a little #tbt.

Because few of us can forget this moment. Trump was still running for president back in 2016 and at a restaurant in New York’s Trump Tower. on Cindo de Mayo. he was interviewed while eating a taco bowl salad and basically used that as proof that he’s not a racist.

At the time he said ” The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!”

Yes, that’s a direct quote.

Aside from the ridiculous mention of Acosta being Hispanic, many were upset Trump was defending a man who let an alleged sexual predator off easy.

Acosta, a former federal prosecutor, agreed to a sweetheart plea deal in 2008 with billionaire financier and former Trump friend Jeffrey Epstein. Last week, Epstein — who Trump previously called a “terrific guy” — was charged with sex trafficking involving girls as young as 14. In a lengthy press conference this week, Acosta took no responsibility at all for the non-prosecution agreement.

And this meme basically sums up the collective reaction of Latino Twitter.

When will it all finally come to an end…?

READ: In A Seriously Awkward Announcement, Vice President Pence Went To Florida To Launch A ‘Latinos For Trump’ Coalition

Paid Promoted Stories