The Major League Soccer Players Union released their statement and voiced their disappointment Monday in President Trump’s recently signed executive order that bans the entry of refugees, migrants and green-card holders into the United States.
MLS Players Union Statement regarding the travel ban by the White House pic.twitter.com/h6Hwy5wmKf
— MLS Players Union (@MLSPlayersUnion) January 30, 2017
People who traveled outside of the country and were not natural American citizens were barred from re-entering the country at numerous major airports throughout the U.S. this weekend, sparking protests from coast-to-coast.
Students and even retired U.S. military veterans were among those detained at major airports like New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Most of the detainees were released, however, some were sent back.
Although the immigration ban focuses on those from Muslim countries, President Trump stated that “this is not a Muslim ban.”
There aren’t MLS players that are directly affected by the immigration ban and all players are currently in preseason training with their respective clubs. There are two current MLS players who play for two Middle East countries: Steven Beitashour, who plays for Iran and Justin Meram for Iraq. Both Beitashour and Meram were born in the U.S. and are dual-citizens.
USMNT midfielder and captain Michael Bradley made his feelings about the immigration ban known on his Instagram.
Bradley mentioned how he was “sad and embarrassed” about the ban and how the current president is “out of touch with the country.”
He was not the only one to voice his concern. New England Revolution forward Kei Kamara mentioned on an Instagram post that he “was a Muslim refugee (2000) and a Muslim citizen today (2017)” as he looked to promote the theme of unity in the United States.
The immigration crackdown is not expected to affect MLS signings but it could affect the youth in the MLS academies. Those on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could be affected if the current administration goes forward with its desire to repeal it. Players like D.C. United’s Michael Aguilar benefited from a program like DACA growing up, protecting him and others, mainly from Mexico, from deportation.
Currently, there’s no exact number of academy youth on DACA.