Thanks to a reader for sending this news from the Associated Press.
Did you know that our LEGAL immigration system allows children, mostly girls, to be exploited through a form of immigration that allows old men to import child brides?
And, it allows children in the US to bring in ‘husbands’ much older than themselves.
Frankly, I don’t see any defense for this flaw in our immigration system, and it seems it could easily be fixed through administrative action immediately, and ultimately by Congress when those do-nothings get around to doing something.
From the AP (emphasis is mine):
WASHINGTON — Thousands of requests by men to bring in child and adolescent brides to live in the United States were approved over the past decade, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.
In one case, a 49-year-old man applied for admission for a 15-year-old girl.
The approvals are legal: The Immigration and Nationality Act does not set minimum age requirements. And in weighing petitions for spouses or fiancees, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services goes by whether the marriage is legal in the home country and then whether the marriage would be legal in the state where the petitioner lives. [What the heck! Why should we consider the legality of the arrangement in their home country! Whiff of creeping sharia here?—ed]
There were more than 5,000 cases of adults petitioning on behalf of minors and nearly 3,000 examples of minors seeking to bring in older spouses or fiances, according to the data requested by the Senate Homeland Security Committee in 2017 and compiled into a report.
Some victims of forced marriage say the lure of a U.S. passport combined with lax U.S. marriage laws are partly fueling the petitions.
The data was requested in 2017 by Johnson and then-Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, the committee’s top Democrat. Johnson said it took a year to get the information, showing there needs to be a better system to track and vet the petitions.
“Our immigration system may unintentionally shield the abuse of women and children,” the senators said in the letter.
The head of USCIS, L. Francis Cissna, said in a letter to the committee that its request had raised questions and discussion within the agency on what it can do to prevent forced minor marriages.
The agency noticed some issues in how the data was collected and has resolved them. Officials also created a flagging system that requires verification of the birthdate whenever a minor is detected.
The country where most requests came from was Mexico, followed by Pakistan, Jordan, the Dominican Republic and Yemen. Middle Eastern nationals had the highest percentage of overall approved petitions.
Much more here (including some horror stories).