Immigration Through Marriage

I am a first-generation immigrant who married an American. I live in the greater Miami area. This part of the country is very Latin. You can find the largest populations of Cubans, Venezuelans, Argentinians, Colombians, and Brazilians in the United States, in addition to many more.

And the unwritten secret is – if you come from Latin America and want to stay in the United States– find a Cuban to marry. I know at least 10 individuals (not couples) who have “fake” married to get a green car…

  1. Foxfier

    Fraudulent marriages to immigrate or gain financial advantage are illegal;  I knew several “couples” in the Navy that were charged with it, charged for their falsely gained bennies and got booted dishonorably. 

    No idea what they’resupposed to do when fraudulent marriages are discovered for civilians, but the marrying-a-foreigner-for-immigration-purposes was specifically targeted because it’s fraud for anybody.

  2. Lamont Cranston

    I give up–why is homosexual marriage even an issue here? The woman from Canada has lived in the U.S. for 17 years–why does she need to create a sham marriage to get a green card? If she has done what she claims, she should be able to emigrate without any significant hassle–I’m not aware of any danger of Canadian immigration exceeding any kind of quota.

    Call me cynical–but I rather suspect this is a situation where somebody is trying to create a test case for claiming unequal treatment under the law as the legal basis for challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. As opposed to having anything at all to do with wanting to become an American citizen. 

    And that–wanting to abuse the legal system to radically re-define marriage before you even get a green card–strikes me as grounds for sending her back to Canada. Postage due.

  3. Barkha Herman
    John Murdoch: I give up–why is homosexual marriage even an issue here? The woman from Canada has lived in the U.S. for 17 years–why does she need to create a sham marriage to get a green card? If she has done what she claims, she should be able to emigrate without any significant hassle–I’m not aware of any danger of Canadian immigration exceeding any kind of quota.

    One can only operate under the laws of the land.  My suggestion is decoupling marriage from immigration.  This will “preserve” marriage for those looking to preserve it.  After all, why should this woman not be allowed to immigrate?

    The sham / immigration-through-marriage-abuse exists due to the fact  that there is no pathway to immigration except 

    1 – Marriage

    2 – Employer sponsorship (I work in IT – I can go into the farce of hiring foreign workers but that may be a different thread)

    3- Political Refuge.

    So, it pretty much cuts out immigration for “normal” people.  And to your point, she does NOT want a sham marriage – or she would have by now.

    OR, as you say, this could be an elaborate 17 year old scam.

  4. Barkha Herman
    Foxfier: Fraudulent marriages to immigrate or gain financial advantage are illegal;  I knew several “couples” in the Navy that were charged with it, charged for their falsely gained bennies and got booted dishonorably. 

    No idea what they’resupposed to do when fraudulent marriages are discovered for civilians, but the marrying-a-foreigner-for-immigration-purposes was specifically targeted because it’s fraud for anybody. · 39 minutes ago

    Would decoupling marriage from citizenship help?

  5. Severely Ltd.

    I know the marriage route to citizenship is abused, I’ve seen it myself, but sponsorship would be much easier and would lead to people selling it to the highest bidder.

  6. Trace

    Maybe, but I shudder at the thought of the bureaucracy such a move would make.

  7. Chris Gregerson

    Yes, we can just sponsor our limit, maybe one every 20 years. We should also be able to charge for the service. We’ll soon see the value of U.S. citizenship.

  8. DocJay

    We should encourage immigration from countries with brains and work ethic.  I’m not sure if sponsorship would help this but if so, then I’m for it.

  9. Michael Cham
    Severely Ltd.: I know the marriage route to citizenship is abused, I’ve seen it myself, but sponsorship would be much easier and would lead to people selling it to the highest bidder. · 29 minutes ago

    What he said.

    Immigration is one of those issues where I start to get a little wary in conservative circles. When I read DocJay’s comment below, it kinda rubs me the wrong way.

    DocJay: We should encourage immigration from countries with brains and work ethic.  I’m not sure if sponsorship would help this but if so, then I’m for it. · 15 minutes ago

  10. Foxfier
    Barkha Herman

    Foxfier: Fraudulent marriages to immigrate or gain financial advantage are illegal;  I knew several “couples” in the Navy that were charged with it, charged for their falsely gained bennies and got booted dishonorably. 

    No idea what they’resupposed to do when fraudulent marriages are discovered for civilians, but the marrying-a-foreigner-for-immigration-purposes was specifically targeted because it’s fraud for anybody. · 39 minutes ago

    Would decoupling marriage from citizenship help? · 29 minutes ago

    No, because the big problem right now is more along the lines of chain immigration–not “let a soldier’s wife come to the US,” but “let someone whose mom came to the US to give birth 19 years ago get married, sponsor his wife and then she brings a bunch of her family over.”

    Given my druthers, I’d make sure that birthright citizenship only went to legal residents– not visitors of any flavor. (refugees would have to be an argued thing)

     That would mean that folks like ‘Ski, the Polish immigrant Marine I went to school with, could have citizen children, while not encouraging illegals to make the law an ass.

    You don’t fix fraud by making it legal.

  11. Donald Todd

    Barkha: Would decoupling marriage from citizenship help?

    My mother was an English war bride.  She maintained her English citizenship and passport to the day she died.  My father’s citizenship did not come into play here, because my mother wasn’t concerned about becoming an American citizen.

    Perhaps someone married to an American should be required to pursue citizenship, perhaps an expedited form, if that is desirable.

  12. Ryan M

    It would make better sense to have divorce result in deportation, I suppose.  Or to otherwise crack down on that fraudulent practice.  (better yet, just don’t grant citizenship for marriage.  Make the immigrant go through the same process as anyone else)

    Incidentally, I have a trial going in a few weeks where I get to cross examine about that very topic – or at least I will bring it up in order to establish some sort of motive … the opposing party asked my client to fake-marry her boyfriend so he could get citizenship.  This practice is much more common than people probably think.

  13. Foxfier
    Barkha Herman

    OR, as you say, this could be an elaborate 17 year old scam. · 1 hour ago

    There’s nothing elaborate involved in looking at a lesbian military vet and her girlfriend and thinking, “hey, they might be activists.”  Especially if the girlfriend has lived and worked here for nearly two decades and is only know going “ooh, hey, citizenship sounds interesting.”

    Has she not bothered to get a green card?  If, as reported, she runs such a great circus in Cali, should be a slam dunk.  Does she have one?  Then why hasn’t she used the existing route?

    Incidentally, Ryan’s idea about divorce=deportation, except in cases of abuse, would be good.  Also an improved system for reporting known fraud.  (Which would be good for social security fraud, too; it’s ludicrous that we’ve got anonymous software fraud reporting but can’t report five folks with the same social.)

  14. Sweezle

    I have a friend with a completely different marital-citizenship story. Her son (an American citizen)  fell in love with a Japanese woman while working and living in Japan. After two years of courtship they were married (one ceremony in America & one in Japan). Before they married (4 years ago) he looked into getting her the proper papers so they could move to the U.S. permanently.

    She was able to get a visa months before they married but she was unable to stay in the U.S. when it ran even though they were now married. They had to return to Japan and live there for two years after they were married if they wanted to live in the same household. After two years she was able to return with him legally as a permanent resident. Both of them are college educated and working for a Japanese Corporation which is located in several major U.S. cities.

    What I don’t understand is how other folks are able have a sham marriage and gain citizenship or permanent residency. What sort of laws are really being enforced and why so many exceptions?

  15. Jeff

    Most immigration restrictions should be abolished outright. People want to better themselves, and they believe they can do it here. Let them try.

    Those who favor immigration restrictions use four arguments. They say restrictions protect:

    1. Americans from low-wage competition

    2. protect taxpayers from welfare-state abuse
    3. American culture
    4. American freedom

    I’ll respond and offer cheaper and more humane alternatives to immigration restrictions.

    1. Adjusted for the benefits that immigrants bring to employers, there’s usually a net gain in buying power. Alternative: charge immigrants an entry fee or surtax and pay it to citizen workers.

    2. Most welfare state money goes the old not the poor. Immigrants are net taxpayers. Alternative: freely admit immigrants, but make them ineligible for benefits.

    3. 90% of second-generation immigrants speak fluent English. Areas with high immigration are the most culturally productive. Alternative: condition admittance on an English fluency exam, a cultural literacy test, etc.

    4.Immigrants from statist countries will not vote away our freedoms. Alternative: allow immigrants to work and live, but don’t allow them to vote for a decade or so.

    The usual arguments against free immigration fail. Even if you believe them, there are better alternatives than restrictions.

  16. DocJay
    Immigration is one of those issues where I start to get a little wary in conservative circles. When I read DocJay’s comment below, it kinda rubs me the wrong way. · 42 minutes ago

    DocJay: We should encourage immigration from countries with brains and work ethic.  I’m not sure if sponsorship would help this but if so, then I’m for it. · 15 minutes ago

    How so?   I thought I was being squishy.  

    Our policies have discouraged immigration from countries with folks who have talent and want to work hard.   

  17. James Of England
    Foxfier

    Barkha Herman

    OR, as you say, this could be an elaborate 17 year old scam. · 1 hour ago

    There’s nothing elaborate involved in looking at a lesbian military vet and her girlfriend and thinking, “hey, they might be activists.”  Especially if the girlfriend haslived and worked here for nearly two decades and is only know going “ooh, hey, citizenship sounds interesting.”

    Has she not bothered to get a green card?  If, as reported, she runs such a great circus in Cali, should be a slam dunk.  Does she have one?  Then why hasn’t she used the existing route?

    Incidentally, Ryan’s idea about divorce=deportation, except in cases of abuse, would be good.  Also an improved system for reporting known fraud.  (Which would be good for social security fraud, too; it’s ludicrous that we’ve got anonymous software fraud reporting but can’t report five folks with the same social.) · 9 minutes ago

    A prominent figure in a quality circus school does sound like a promising candidate for an EB-1 immigrant visa, which avoids a lot of the hassles that Barkha would have experienced in hiring foreigners.

  18. Ryan M
    Foxfier

    You don’t fix fraud by making it legal. · 11 minutes ago

    Foxfier – that quote says so much.  I love it.  Make an essay out of it; that applies to so many things.  But it’s the liberal mentality, isn’t it?  Obviously it sometimes spills over.

  19. Jeff
    Foxfier

    Barkha Herman

    Would decoupling marriage from citizenship help? · 29 minutes ago

    No, because the big problem right now is more along the lines of chain immigration

    What’s wrong with people taking care of their families and getting them out of god-forsaken countries that don’t respect the rights of their citizens?

    It’s the kind of person that would leave their family in dire circumstances that we ought to be worried about.

  20. Foxfier
    Jeff  What’s wrong with people taking care of their families and getting them out of god-forsaken countries that don’t respect the rights of their citizens?

    It’s the kind of person that would leave their family in dire circumstances that we ought to be worried about. · 13 minutes ago

    The problem happens when they don’t want to escape it and instead bring it over here; Victor Davis Hanson’s ongoing series illustrates what happens. 

    The point of the immigration system isn’t to invite in everyone who lives in a worse place, it’s to have good Americans.  America is great because we have good Americans; dilute that into a bunch of gimmies, and things go down hill.

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