Men's requests to bring in child brides approved

Lester Mason
January 14, 2019

According to a new report, the United States approved thousands of immigration requests made by adult men in the U.S. for child brides from overseas, in addition to requests from minors to bring in prospective adult spouses, in the last decade. One of the largest age discrepancies in petitions that were approved was a 61-year-old adult petitioning for a 17-year-old, according to the DHS report.

According to the report, USCIS considers whether the marriage is legal in the home country of the spouse and in the USA state where the petitioner resides.

The approvals were legal, as applicants take advantage of the fact that the Immigration and Nationality Act does not limit the age of spouses and the fact that many states allow for minors to be married under certain circumstances.

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 149 instances, the adult was older than 40, and in 28 cases the adult was over 50, the committee found.


In a statement, officials with the USCIS did not expand on the State Department's process; however, they did indicate that roughly 2.6 percent of claims are rejected. Whoever was processing this application, they don't look at it? Amin said she was engaged at 8 years old and she was forced into marriage in Pakistan when she was 13. "They don't think?" she asked.

INDORE, INDIA: A 16 year old boy (L) waits to be married to a much younger girl (R) during a mass child marriage ceremony in Indore, 15 May 2002 some 200 kms west of the Madhya Pradesh state capital city Bhopal. Fraidy Reiss, head of anti-child-marriage group Unchained at Last, gathered data for her home state of New Jersey in response to their request. (The statistics are calculated over fiscal, not calendar, years.) And more than 2,900 minors were given permission to bring older spouses into the country in the same decade, according a report from the Senate Homeland Security Committee released Friday.

"[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", Reiss added. Claire McCaskill, the committee's top Democrat. There were also 5,000 cases that saw adults petitioning on behalf of minors who wanted to bring their spouses to the US. Johnson said it took a year to get the information, showing there needs to be a better system to track and vet the petitions. "Throughout her forced marriage she suffered physical and sexual abuse", the Committee's report read before noting that she escaped in 2005.

"USCIS has taken steps to improve data integrity and has implemented a range of solutions that require the verification of a birthdate whenever a minor spouse or fiance is detected", USCIS spokesman Michael Bars said. Although the highest number of requests from a single country came from Mexico, the majority of requests were from Middle Eastern nationals from Pakistan, Jordan and Yemen.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER