Detroit Tigers Jose Iglesias and Leonys Martin Become U.S. Citizens on Game Day

The Tigers lost to the Athletics yesterday, but two members of the team were definitely winners.

On Monday, the Tigers hosted a very special pre-game ceremony. Cuban-born Jose Iglesias and Leonys Martin and 23 others stood on the field at Comerica Park and took the oath of United States citizenship.

Both Iglesias and Martin have been here for years, but Iglesias says he’s “still learning” about his new country. He defected from Cuba as a teen, and says he came to the US with a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and a dream.

“I will never forget about my country, but it’s amazing to be part of United States… being able to do it here in the ballpark, right in front of the fans, that was really emotional.” – Leonys Martin

I’m reminded every day that we all, at some point, came to America from somewhere else. But in this current political climate, with young immigrant children in camps and the Supreme Court upholding the Muslim Ban today, I’m shocked that people still want to come to America at all. To me, though, people like Jose and Leonys represent the ideal American; they want to live their dreams and they’ve worked so hard to get where they are. It’s admirable and truly American, and I’m glad to welcome them home.


Photos: Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press

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