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.

The US Open Final: Who Will Make it?
The 34-year-old Swiss won the first two sets 6-4 and 7-5, forcing an injured and struggling Djokovic to retire in the third. If she’s at her best, then she’ll make it to the final and if she performs on the day the title will be hers.

"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

  • Renault, Nissan hold board meetings before expected new Ghosn indictment, report says

    Renault, Nissan hold board meetings before expected new Ghosn indictment, report says

    The open hearing on Tuesday, which drew worldwide attention, was his first public appearance since his arrest on November 19. Ghosn's prolonged detention has put the spotlight on Japan's justice system, which has come in for some global criticism.
    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.
    2019 iPhones’ big feature will be an extra camera lens

    2019 iPhones’ big feature will be an extra camera lens

    Chatter earlier today circulated around the camera and display technology that would be used in this year's new iPhones. In the latest trial, Qualcomm also revealed that Apple is testing the 5G baseband of Samsung and MediaTek.
  • FINAL DESTINATION To Receive More Final Entries

    FINAL DESTINATION To Receive More Final Entries

    New Line is reviving its " Final Destination " franchise, which has been dormant since 2011, says reports. The original premise of Final Destination features a young student by the name of Alex Browning .
    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.
  • Wozniacki: I can win Australian Open

    Wozniacki: I can win Australian Open

    I really appreciate what he's done for women's tennis . "It's like if I'm talking to someone one-on-one it stresses me out". Your hard work and perseverance taught me so much. "From there, I've been in the third round 100 million times already".
    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.
    Samsung Galaxy S10 design leaks ahead of Unpacked event ... by Samsung itself

    Samsung Galaxy S10 design leaks ahead of Unpacked event ... by Samsung itself

    All of these devices, except for the Galaxy S10 Lite will come integrated with an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor. Another rumour shared by Samsung leaker Ice Universe, suggests that the Galaxy S10 will get an Infinity-O display.
  • How to Upgrade Your Skills to MCSA: Windows Server 2016 Certification? ExamSnap Guide on Microsoft 70-743 Exam

    Depending on your behavior, it can be determined whether or not you are using exam dumps and if so, penalties will be imposed. As you can see the retake policy is a bit lenient, but it is still wise to make sure that you pass at the first attempt.
    Tamilrockers leaks 'The Accidental Prime Minister' online after Rajinikanth's 'Petta'

    Tamilrockers leaks 'The Accidental Prime Minister' online after Rajinikanth's 'Petta'

    Not differentiating between South and Bollywood films , The Accidental Prime Minister is also all over the internet. The Accidental Prime Minister has been written by Vijay Ratnkar Gutte, Mayank Tewari, Karl Dunne and Aditya Sinha.
    Australian teenager dies in Austria avalanche

    Australian teenager dies in Austria avalanche

    The boy was reportedly a student at Sydney's International Grammar School, which has offered support to fellow students. A man makes his way at the early morning after heavy snow fall in Munich, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 10.

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.