U.S. approves child marriage immigration cases

U.S. approves child marriage immigration cases

The United States' immigration system has been approving thousands of male migrants' requests to bring their underage brides or fiancees - some in their early teens with men over 40 - with them, raising concerns that the USA helped facilitate forced marriages.

One of the cases, brought up in the document involved a 71 year-old-man applying for admission for a 17 year-old-girl from Guatemala.

Despite every US state having established laws that stipulate minimum legal ages for sexual intercourse, the federal government has apparently been effectively endorsing thousands of adult marriages to minors from overseas.

"Before this report, it was clear that US law permitted a child to be the sponsor or subject of a spouse or fiancé visa, but there was no information available about how often such visas actually facilitated child marriage".

The data requested by the Senate Homeland Security Committee in 2017 found more than 5,000 cases of adults seeking to bring in minors, and about 3,000 other cases of minors petitioning to have older spouses or fiancees emigrate to the U.S.

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Child marriage, which disproportionately harms young girls who are already vulnerable due to dire circumstances such as poverty, is a practice nearly universally rejected by the mainstream.

In the cases where adolescent girls applied for their older husbands to come over, immigration officials fear they are being forced to do so and used to gain citizenship for the men who married them. Whoever was processing this application, they don't look at it? Her parents reportedly flew her to Pakistan when she was 13 to be married to the man, then flew her back to the US and forced her to apply for her husband to come to the U.S.

In Amin's case, the petition ultimately fell through after she ran away from her New York City home, instead opting for an arduous life that saw her in and out of foster care and group homes before being able to get back on track. "They don't think?" she questioned. Some states allow individuals as young as 16 to marry, with some requiring a parental consent. Countries making the most petitions to admit minor spouses to the U.S. included Mexico, Pakistan, Jordan, the Dominican Republic and Yemen. Fraidy Reiss, the executive director, called the USA government "complicit" in child marriage.

"[These minors] are subjected to a lifetime of domestic servitude and rape", she told the AP. "And the government is not only complicit; they're stamping this and saying: Go ahead". And a USA adult can petition for a visa for a minor spouse or fiancée living overseas. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who serves as the chairman of the committee, and then-US Sen. Claire McCaskill, the committee's top Democrat.

The organizationUnchained at Last is dedicated to ending forced and child marriage in the United States. "Ultimately, it is up to Congress to bring more certainty and legal clarity to this process for both petitioners and USCIS officers". Pakistan is the second most frequent country from which such requests are filed. Middle Eastern nationals had the highest percentage of overall approved petitions.

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