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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lee: Cespedes thrilled to have mother, family join him in US

A good story.  Cespedes’ mother sounds appropriately wonderful.

For more than a year, [Cespedes’ mother Estela] Milanes and 11 other family members were engaged in a lengthy struggle to emigrate from Cuba to the United States and join Cespedes, who defected from Cuba to the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2011 to seek an opportunity as a Major League Baseball player.  Cespedes, ultimately signed at age 26 by the A’s to a four-year deal worth $36 million, was in contact with his family maybe 10 times during the first four months of the 2012 season. At one point, they were off the map and out of contact for three or four days.

“I had no idea where my family was,” Cespedes said through translator Ariel Prieto. “They just disappeared.”

They soon found safety, but it was fleeting. In October, following an extensive stay in the Dominican Republic, they were captured in a raid and detained as illegal immigrants in the Turks and Caicos Islands, falling under suspicion of being the subject of a human trafficking ring, according to the Turks and Caicos Sun.

Today, they are in Miami, and they were all treated to a surprise visit by Cespedes this weekend, mere hours after safely arriving in the United States. Cespedes left the A’s to welcome his family on Saturday night, landing at their doorstep the next morning around 6 a.m.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:45 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, yoenis cespedes

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   1. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:55 AM (#4387495)
I have him in both of my leagues. Stay hungry, Yoenis!

But seriously, this is great news and a huge weight off of his shoulders.
   2. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4387499)
An important face is still missing, though. Cespedes hasn't seen his 3-year-old son, Yoenis Jr., in two years, and he is working to bring him to the United States, even if only for one brief visit at a time. Until then, Cespedes will keep him engaged on the phone every so often.


I assume he is divorced and the boy is living with his mother? At least I hope that's the case.
   3. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4387826)
In October, following an extensive stay in the Dominican Republic, they were captured in a raid and detained as illegal immigrants in the Turks and Caicos Islands, falling under suspicion of being the subject of a human trafficking ring, according to the Turks and Caicos Sun.

Today, they are in Miami,

I've read about 10 stories about the Cespedes family reunion, but none have explained the most basic piece of info.: Did Cespedes' fourteen (!) family members legally enter the U.S., or were they smuggled to the U.S.?

It seems highly unlikely that Cespedes' family was issued U.S. visas while in the Turks & Caicos illegally, especially if they were in detention in the Turks & Caicos. But somehow, Cespedes knew in advance that his family would be arriving "by ship" on Saturday. Very strange.
   4. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4387890)
It seems highly unlikely that Cespedes' family was issued U.S. visas while in the Turks & Caicos illegally, especially if they were in detention in the Turks & Caicos. But somehow, Cespedes knew in advance that his family would be arriving "by ship" on Saturday. Very strange.


Why? They were apprehended in October and it is now March. Seems like plenty of time for a person of means to arrange visas for his family.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 06:32 PM (#4387894)

I assume he is divorced and the boy is living with his mother?

Or just never married in the first place. But yes, the son stayed behind with his mother according to other articles online.
   6. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4387932)
Why? They were apprehended in October and it is now March. Seems like plenty of time for a person of means to arrange visas for his family.

Top-level pro athletes can bring their wife and/or kids on their P1 work visa. Otherwise, simply having a rich relative in the U.S. doesn't make one eligible for a U.S. visa, especially not an immigrant visa.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4387943)
Is it different if you're from Cuba?
   8. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:10 PM (#4387945)
Is it different if you're from Cuba?


Can't you apply for genuine refugee status or something? Fleeing and oppressive regime and all that? Family under threat, yada, yada, yada?

I really have no idea...
   9. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:37 PM (#4387961)
Cubans can request refugee status if they make it to U.S. soil, but bringing such Cubans to the U.S. is almost always a federal felony. (And it's usually tougher for Cubans to get a non-immigrant visa, since the presumption is that they'll actually stay in the U.S. rather than return to Cuba or the D.R. or wherever.)

I don't know that Cespedes' family doesn't have visas, but the story, as reported, is very strange. Among other oddities, if they had visas, why would they take a 600-mile boat ride from the Turks & Caicos instead of flying? I can't remember the last time I heard of someone emigrating to the U.S., legally, by boat.
   10. Swedish Chef Posted: March 13, 2013 at 08:54 PM (#4387967)
I don't know that Cespedes' family doesn't have visas, but the story, as reported, is very strange. Among other oddities, if they had visas, why would they take a 600-mile boat ride from the Turks & Caicos instead of flying? I can't remember the last time I heard of someone emigrating to the U.S., legally, by boat.

Would they splash it all over media if they were in the US illegally?
   11. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:06 PM (#4387971)
I don't know that Cespedes' family doesn't have visas, but the story, as reported, is very strange. Among other oddities, if they had visas, why would they take a 600-mile boat ride from the Turks & Caicos instead of flying? I can't remember the last time I heard of someone emigrating to the U.S., legally, by boat.


Where did you read about a boat? It wasn't in the linked article.
   12. Joe Kehoskie Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:09 PM (#4387973)
Would they splash it all over media if they were in the US illegally?

You wouldn't think so, but that hasn't stopped people in the past.

***
Where did you read about a boat? It wasn't in the linked article.

Here, here, and here, among others. The last one, in particular, makes it seem unlikely they had visas, unless the various details were misreported.
   13. Group Captain Mandrake Posted: March 13, 2013 at 09:26 PM (#4387982)
Here, here, and here, among others. The last one, in particular, makes it seem unlikely they had visas, unless the various details were misreported.


Thanks. It does seem rather odd.

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