The Corner

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

We just published a paper on green-card marriages, including the widespread fraud. David Seminara, a former consular officer, includes some specific examples from his experience in Eastern Europe; my favorite is the case of a guy from the Bronx who filed a fiance petition for a Nigerian woman (who’d just been turned down for asylum in Hungary) whom he’d met on his first-ever trip abroad, to Budapest:

Curious to know how the American petitioner would explain making his first overseas trip to Hungary for just a weekend, I called the number listed on the petition. Our conversation went something like this:

“I went to Budapest because I heard it was a chill place,” he said, in response to my question.

“Where did you hear that?” I asked.

“Umm,” he said stalling for time, “from my landlord.”

“Is he Hungarian?”

“No, he’s Nigerian,” he said, inadvertently revealing the probable connection between himself and the supposed fiancé.

“I can see in the computer that this was your first passport,” I said. “Have you ever taken any vacations before?”

“I’ve been down to the Jersey Shore, Orlando.”

“So one day you just decided to jet off to Hungary for a long weekend by yourself? How soon did you fall in love with your fiancé after arriving?”

“Pretty much the first day,” he said.

“So what was the rush to get back to the Bronx, if you had just fallen in love?” I asked.

“Had to get back to work!” he exclaimed.

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