• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

How common is marriage fraud for immigrants?

Slate had an interesting piece yesterday on marriage fraud and domestic violence, looking into whether a small number of foreign-born brides fake domestic abuse to leave their American husbands and stay in the United States. It’s a topic that has a lot of potential for hysteria: Anti-illegal immigration groups claim fraudulent marriage is a rampant problem, while some women’s rights groups dismiss the idea of immigrant spouses faking domestic violence.

But the Slate piece does a good job of laying out a few perspectives. Hundreds of men who married foreign-born women claim their wives accused them of domestic abuse to exploit the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which allows victims of abuse to remain in the country even if they leave their marriage. Some of the men may be lying, but immigration agents and lawyers say this type of fraud does happen — though it is likely uncommon.

The problem is figuring out whether closing the loophole that allows for this type of fraud is worth the risk of deterring real domestic violence victims from reporting their abuse:

The opportunity for fraud may be a small harm that’s necessary to prevent more serious wrongdoing. Before the act was passed, only an American spouse could file an application for a marriage visa. This meant that an abusive husband or wife could threaten to withhold immigration sponsorship as a tool of control. VAWA tried to change that, by allowing abused spouses, parents, or children of American citizens or permanent residents to “self-petition,” that is, to file for permanent residency themselves. [...]

The relatively lenient standard of proof is in place for good reason. Several decades of research show that the dynamics of domestic abuse make it difficult for women to report and document the crimes against them. A wife may be financially reliant on her husband, or she might come from a culture that discourages involving outsiders in family matters. Making it more difficult for battered immigrant women to get help would clearly be a step in the wrong direction. “I am quite ok with what I believe to be the miniscule number of fraud cases that might slip through an otherwise good, working system,” Alizabeth Newman, a law professor at the City University of New York, wrote in an August 2009 e-mail to a group of domestic abuse advocates reviewing the VAWA immigration provision. Newman has a point: Interviewing applicants and investigating the evidence they provide would be expensive. It may not be cost-effective to weed out the likely very small number of bogus claims.

The broader issue of marriage fraud — foreign-born men and women entering or buying into marriages for the sake of legal residence in the United States, or Americans faking marriage certificates to bring foreigners into the country in exchange for cash — is interesting because of the difficulty of detecting it. Although it’s impossible to say how often fraudulent marriages happen, the Government Accountability Office reported in 2006 that benefit fraud, including marriage fraud, is a serious problem.

The pro-enforcement Center for Immigration Studies claims marriage to a United States citizen is the easiest and most common path to citizenship. According to one report, about one-third of applicants who show up to their investigation interviews in New York are denied for faking the marriage, and nationwide about 20,000 naturalization applications were denied on suspicion of fraud in the 2005 fiscal year.

There have been some high-profile cases lately: A Harry Reid staffer left his campaign in October after Fox News reported she had faked a marriage for money, and a Mexican actress and her American husband were charged with marriage fraud in April. Other reports involve groups that find American men and women who will marry and petition for foreign spouses for pay, or file multiple visa applications based on fake marriage certificates.

But there are high costs to engaging in marriage fraud. If a visa applicant is determined to have entered into a marriage to evade immigration laws, his or her application must be denied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (That is, unless he or she is able to prove spousal abuse, as mentioned above.) Immigration agents investigate visa petitions filed by spouses — USCIS even recently instructed its agents on how it could use social networking sites such as Facebook to figure out whether marriages were fraudulent.

Immigration advocacy groups, for their part, argue that marriage fraud should be taken seriously, but say pro-enforcement groups like Center for Immigration Studies miss the point by claiming fake marriages run the risk of allowing terrorists to enter the country. Immigration Impact, the blog of the pro-reform Immigration Policy Center, says the real concern is fighting human traffickers who use fake marriages to bring women to the United States for sexual exploitation and reducing backlogs on family-based immigration so real couples can be united.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.