The Corner

Immigration

Senate Report Shows How U.S. Immigration System Encourages Child Marriages

Anyone who doesn’t think that our immigration system is deeply flawed needs to read this new report from Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.  This isn’t about illegal immigration, but how current laws actually open the door for young people (overwhelmingly girls) to be exploited.

As the Associated Press put it:

Thousands of requests by men to bring in child and adolescent brides to live in the United States were approved over the past decade, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. In one case, a 49-year-old man applied for admission for a 15-year-old girl.

The report found that over an eleven-year period, our immigration services approved bringing in 8,686 spouses or fiancees for marriages that involved minors. Some of these cases involved children as young as 13. One 14-year-old successfully petitioned to bring her 48-year-old husband into the country. Overwhelming in these cases, the child is a girl.

Sadly but unsurprisingly, child marriages are also often forced marriages. Young women describe being forced by family members to marry someone against their will to give him access to the United States.

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, so this report is a timely reminder that our immigration system fails vulnerable communities and needs serious reform.

Carrie Lukas is the president of the Independent Women’s Forum.

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