Forced marriages: US approved thousands of child bride requests over past decade

US approves child marriage immigration cases report

US approves child marriage immigration cases report

The United States claims to be a strong opponent of child marriage around the world.

The data raises questions about whether the immigration system may be enabling forced marriage and about how US laws may be compounding the problem despite efforts to limit child and forced marriage. And these petitions generally put weight on whether the marriage would be legal in the country of origin.

Those included petitions in which a minor requests entry for their older spouse, a practice that, according to the non-profit Unchained At Last, allows families to avoid paying dowries. A State Department representative said the department is committed to protecting the rights of children and combatting forced marriage.

Although her parents eventually sent her to live with her first cousin in Pakistan, the USCIS approved her petition in 2004. Applicants are required to provide evidence which proves a "family relationship".

When reached for comment the State Department said, "Communications with the media will be limited to events and issues involving the safety of human life or the protection of property, or those determined to be essential to national security".

While the exact number of approvals is unknown, the latest report shows that there were 8,686 applications filed involving minors, and almost 5,000 of the requests eventually resulted in a green card being issued.

However, according to the AP, every USA state allows exceptions where a person can be married under the age of 18, and some, like NY and Maryland, even allow marriage under the age of 16 with approval by a court.

That "loophole" bears grave dangers for girls, the Senate paper warns, citing the non-profit Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation.

Amazon Snare Over 1 Million Echo Auto Pre-Orders
Like its rival, users can ask Alexa to navigate map instructions, query weather conditions, control music plus much more. Music is coming to Alexa-enabled Echo devices, Amazon , in a rare move to broaden Apple's streaming music ecosystem.

"My passport ruined my life", Naila Amin, a dual U.S. -Pakistan citizen who grew up in New York City told the AP. In one case, a 49-year-old man applied for admission for a 15-year-old girl. The girl was younger than her spouse or fiancé in 95% of the cases examined.

Some lawmakers and advocates for victims say the US immigration system may be unintentionally enabling forced marriages.

"So it indicates a problem", Sen.

Some lawmakers, including Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonUS has signed off on thousands of child bride requests The Hill's Morning Report - Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days GOP senator wants "essential employees" to get paid during shutdown MORE (R-Wis.), said the numbers indicate "a loophole that we need to close".

"The U.S. government is encouraging child marriage with the loopholes and the laws that allow children to petition for a foreign spouse or fiancé or be the beneficiary of a foreign spouse or fiancé visa", Reiss said.

According to data collected by PBS's Frontline program, some 200,000 minors were legally married in the United States between 2000 and 2015. Fraidy Reiss, the executive director, called the US government "complicit" in child marriage.

"This is a problem both domestically and in terms of immigration", she said.

Recommended News

  • U.S.  woman ‘who killed manicurist to flee US$35 bill’ captured

    U.S. woman ‘who killed manicurist to flee US$35 bill’ captured

    Clark County District Court records said she was sentenced to four months in jail for violating probation in that case. According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Krystal Whipple was arrested in Glendale on Friday morning.
    Kohlschreiber, Sandgren reach semifinals at ASB Classic

    Kohlschreiber, Sandgren reach semifinals at ASB Classic

    Norrie will now face Tennys Sandgren after the American served outstandingly in a 6-4 6-2 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber . Sandgren was in ominous form winning 31 of his 33 of his first serve points as he cruised to a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 win.
    Sarri tells Chelsea: I need a Cesc replacement

    Sarri tells Chelsea: I need a Cesc replacement

    The home side were cruising after Pedro's early goal but were pegged back by Ciaran Clark's equaliser shortly before half-time. I have no idea [how soon a replacement will arrive].The club is anxious , I don't know. "The club knows very well my opinion".
  • Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Chris Evert makes comparison

    Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Chris Evert makes comparison

    Both paid tribute to the former world number one on the eve of the year's first Grand Slam with Federer adding that the Scot should be "incredibly proud" of what he had achieved.
    Myanmar rejects appeals of jailed Reuters journalists

    Myanmar rejects appeals of jailed Reuters journalists

    Judge Aung Naing rejected the appeal, calling the original judgement a " reasonable decision ", according to Agence France-Presse. In a rare admission, Myanmar's military conceded its soldiers were behind the massacre Reuters was investigating.
    Shankar, Shubman Gill replace KL Rahul, Pandya

    Shankar, Shubman Gill replace KL Rahul, Pandya

    Gill, 19, has been selected only for the tour of New Zealand, beginning on January 23 with a one-dayer in Napier. Before the match, Kohli had reiterated his belief that Rayudu was the right man to bat at number four.
  • Lisa Leslie to coach BIG3 team

    Lisa Leslie to coach BIG3 team

    For the latest league news and updates, follow BIG3 on Twitter , Instagram and Facebook , or visit their website: BIG3.com . Through its first two seasons, the BIG3 featured one game day per week with all eight teams in action.
    Olivier-fifer puts South Africa ahead in Johannesburg — Twitter Reactions

    Olivier-fifer puts South Africa ahead in Johannesburg — Twitter Reactions

    Olivier claimed five for 51, his third five-wicket haul of the series, as South Africa gained a first innings lead of 77. Sarfraz said the bowlers had also let their standards slip towards the end of the day when De Kock flourished.

    Murray retirement a shock for Federer, Djokovic

    I hope it's going to be a nice match, it's a great experience for me to play in Australia in one of his last Grand Slams against him'.
  • Bafana Bafana legend Phil Masinga has passed away

    Bafana Bafana legend Phil Masinga has passed away

    He also managed to net a hat-trick in an FA Cup clash with Walsall in 1995. Our legend is gone. 'He is no ordinary legend, he was an global legend'.
    Huawei says sacks employee in Poland that was arrested on spying charges

    Huawei says sacks employee in Poland that was arrested on spying charges

    He said the country is considering recommending caution towards the company, including potential exclusion from its IT market. The arrest was made as a part of ongoing investigations into the alleged violations of United States trade sanctions.
    Ulster secure crucial victory over Racing 92

    Ulster secure crucial victory over Racing 92

    Second-placed Ulster are on 18 points ahead of of their final round showdown with Leicester Tigers at Welford Road next Saturday. On Saturday, he scored a try midway through the first half before being forced off at half-time due to a leg injury.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.