This is a story of double standards and judicial indifference — if not outright acquiescence — toward a man, an alien, who physically abuses women and gets away with it simply because he is represented by individuals and an industry who believe his skills are so desirable that they outweigh the gravity of his violence against women.
It's not the first such story I've documented. Almost a year ago, I blogged about such a man employed in Silicon Valley who received absurd leniency in a criminal case involving repeated physical assaults on his wife.
A video from 2016 recently emerged in which Venezuelan native and minor league baseball player Danry Vasquez is seen physically assaulting his (now former) girlfriend as she cowers in the corner of a stairwell.
Domestic violence is a plague in our nation, as it is in many others. Another story on Vasquez is equally troubling — and not just because that same girlfriend reportedly reconciled for a time with a man willing to physically abuse her, something that likely will happen again, since domestic violence recidivism is common.
The other significant and troubling aspect of the case is how it has developed. Vasquez appears to have been given a series of breaks by the judicial system: He was fined, obliged to attend domestic violence classes (which are generally ineffectual), and then allowed to sneak out of the United States to a lower profile in his home country, until — having "successfully" completed his court-directed diversionary program — the misdemeanor conviction was expunged. To complete the absurdity, Vasquez signed a new contract with another minor league team, meaning he intended once again to live in the United States. (Once the video of the beating became public last week, Vasquez's new team cancelled his contract, perhaps more out of concern for adverse press than the moral implications of the case, which didn't seem to bother team owners before the publicity.)
Reading all of this, it looks to me as if Vasquez's court case, with the assistance of wily attorneys, clever major league baseball agents, and a complicit judicial system, was deliberately engineered to permit him to escape any adverse immigration consequences based on his abuse.
First, he was permitted to plead to a misdemeanor, meaning he would never be sentenced to more than a year in jail. In this way, Vasquez escaped being charged as a removable alien; see 8 U.S.C. Sections 1182(a)(2(A)(ii)(II) and 1227(a)(2)(A)(i)(II), respectively.
Second, it was a plea deal structured to permit the offense to be wiped away via expungement, thus removing the grounds on which he might have been deported, given that a domestic abuse conviction — even for a misdemeanor — is a separate removability charge under the law; see 8 U.S.C. Section 1227(a)(2)(E)(i).
Third, Vasquez then hightailed it out of the country long enough for the expungement to kick in, and a new contract to be offered. This put him in the position of being, theoretically, a man with no legal criminal history for domestic abuse who was almost certainly the subject of a petition for admittance and then a visa as an "Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement" under the O-1 nonimmigrant category, assuming all of this did already occur before his new contract was cancelled.
This, ladies and gentlemen, not only reeks of double standards (what citizen would benefit from such lenient treatment?), but also falls into the category of a travesty of justice, notwithstanding Vasquez's girlfriend's apparent ability to forgive and forget.
One of the ironies is that, even as Vasquez's case carries all the hallmarks of having been engineered to permit him to escape adverse immigration consequences from his abuse, the self-same immigration laws go out of their way to protect alien women from abuse at the hands of their citizen domestic partners — to the point that they can petition for a green card even in the absence of hard evidence that they have, in fact, been abused, the kind of hard evidence, for example, that is so clearly on display in the video of Vasquez.
We are left with a number of questions, one being how and why the criminal justice system seems so amenable to double standards where alien misconduct is concerned.
Another is whether minor league baseball players are really of such importance to our social well-being that a proven abuser like Vasquez should be readmitted. I can't see it.
But even if good baseball players are of such national importance, I would bet serious money that there are 10 honorable and decent ballplayers in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere who are every bit as talented as Vasquez, who have never harmed a woman, and who would be delighted to have the opportunity to play on a professional U.S. baseball team. Wouldn't they be a better deal than him?