Over the years we’ve made frequent note of major leaguers from other countries becoming U.S. citizens. Jose Fernandez did a year ago last April. Back in November 2012 Robinson Cano was naturalized. Orlando Cabrera did in May 2011. I’m sure we’ve missed many, but if we see the news of it, we like to do a quick blurb about it. It’s fun and cool. And, for the players becoming U.S. citizens, it represents a huge life event. Happy day!
Yesterday Ubaldo Jimenez of the Baltimore Orioles became a citizen. Congratulations Ubaldo!
Of course, it’s an election year and one of the candidates in the election has placed immigration at the top of his agenda. As such, the relatively common occurrence of a baseball player becoming a citizen became the focus of both ignorance and ugliness. Check out the replies to the Orioles’ seemingly non-controversial tweet:
Jimenez has played professional baseball in the United States since 2002. He’s made at least six figures a year doing it since 2006 and a million dollars or more a year doing it since 2010. I suspect Jimenez has paid more in taxes in the last few months than this person has or will in their lifetime. But hey, don’t let a common slur against immigrants — that they’re freeloaders — go unspoken!
Then there’s this stuff:
The anti-immigrant sentiment which litters that whole thread is not something new, of course. Such ugliness comes and goes throughout history. Immigrants have been subject to it for a couple of centuries now. It’s as inevitable as tomorrow’s sunrise.
As is the dehumanization involved in all of this. To these jackwagons, Jimenez is not a human being with dreams and desires. He’s some monster politicians have convinced so many people to see when considering an immigrant, especially these days. At least if they aren’t being useful to them by taking some job thought to be beneath them. Or, say, winning a bunch of baseball games.