Major League Baseball should use its influence in the Dominican Republic to persuade President Danilo Medina to stop the discrimination of and imminent mass deportation of persons of Haitian descent and prevent a humanitarian crisis in Haiti.
A law passed in the Dominican Republic in 2013 aims to deport hundreds of thousands of Haitians born in the Dominican Republic to undocumented Haitians as far back as 1929 (Law TC-168-13). This would mean that hundreds of thousands of people with neither Haitian or Dominican citizenship would be arrested and forcibly deported. Under pressure, the DR government has offered a naturalization program that has documentation requirements and fees that are nearly impossible for most undocumented persons to obtain. The June 17th deadline has passed and mass deportations may begin at any moment. Amnesty International has pointed out that such a deportation is in violation of international law: “It’s unfortunate that the Dominican Republic decides to ignore its international obligations and carry out arbitrary processes that will leave millions of people homeless.”
American Major League Baseball has a deep investment in the Dominican Republic where baseball is the greatest sport. The Dominican Republic has been a significant source of talent on MLB rosters. All 30 MLB teams operate a local academy across various communities throughout the Dominican Republic. The academies are a huge economic investment in the DR communities. MLB claims "Social responsibility is one of the main tenets of Major League Baseball in the Dominican Republic."
Major League Baseball should use its influence to immediately persuade President Danilo Medina to stop the discrimination of and imminent mass deportation of persons of Haitian descent and prevent a humanitarian crisis in Haiti. Major League Baseball should carefully evaluate its deep roots in the Dominican Republic should the discrimination of and arrest and forcible deportation of undocumented persons occur. Major League Baseball prides itself with "a zero-tolerance policy toward bias of any sort" and American baseball should have no part in the current human rights direction of the Dominican Republic.