Congressman Cohen Introduces the Baseball Diplomacy Act

January 5, 2021
Press Release
Would permit Cuban athletes to play in U.S. on non-immigrant visas

 

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today introduced the Baseball Diplomacy Act to eliminate barriers to Cuban athletes entering the U.S. on non-immigrant visas only for the duration of the baseball season. The measure would allow players to retain their Cuban citizenship and return to Cuba with their earnings, rather than having to renounce their citizenship and abandon their families to play baseball in the United States.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“We all know that some of our greatest baseball players are from Cuba or learned the game there, including my childhood hero, Minnie Minoso, ‘The Cuban Comet’ of the Chicago White Sox, and Randy Arozarena, the Tampa Bay star of last year’s playoffs who played for the Memphis Redbirds earlier in his career. Currently, the best Cuban players have to renounce their citizenship and abandon their families back home to play in our major leagues. That’s bad for them, bad for the fans and bad for the game. The Baseball Diplomacy Act would eliminate these unnecessary barriers and let the best ball players compete, improving U.S.-Cuban relations and transforming lives and livelihoods.”

The Baseball Diplomacy Act would not affect other aspects of U.S. relations with Cuba or change other laws on immigration. It would only give Cuban baseball players the same opportunities as athletes from other countries, by allowing them to get visas for the duration of the baseball season and to return home for the off-season. 

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