The most reported United Soccer League signing occurred last week when Los Dos signed free agent midfielder Miguel Aguilar who’s rights were acquired by the LA Galaxy from D.C. United. Los Angeles rounded out their roster when they didn’t add him to first team giving themselves depth on offense. The question begs, why does a roster add for depth make so much noise.
Miguel Aguilar was born in Mexico and brought to the United States by his mother at the age of 11. When his family’s visas expired they remained as undocumented immigrants. Making Aguilar the only known undocumented professional athlete in the United States.
Miguel Aguilar, whose immigration battle as a DACA recipient was detailed in the Times last month, signed with the #LAGalaxy‘s USL affiliate
— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) March 11, 2017
Aguilar’s status meant he was eligible to be part of the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order that provides work permits for people brought to the U.S. as children. Provided certain conditions are met deportation is avoided.
Now with the new administration’s immigration policies Aguilar’s status is in jeopardy. Recent deportations have targeted DACA recipients risking Aguilar’s status and career writes Kevin Baxter of the LA Times:
“He’s targeting people like myself,” Aguilar said. “I think that’s grounds to be concerned.”
For now Aguilar is trying to get his green card, he married his college sweetheart who he met when he was at the University of San Francisco. His professional career does not guarantee his protected status, especially if he were to travel outside of the country while on the roster.
— LA Galaxy II (@LAGalaxyII) March 13, 2017
The only team the Galaxy II play outside of the U.S. is an August game in Vancouver, if Aguilar’s status is still up in the air it’s possible he would be unable to travel with the team if he was not allowed to return to the U.S. Such a situation may be precarious even if Aguilar is traveling within the U.S., recent reports of surprise inspections by custom agents on domestic airlines.
For now Aguilar is saying the right things, “I always try to stay positive and just have the best outlook on life and know if I’m doing things right I have nothing to be afraid of.” It remains to be seen if his play will be affected by his situation.