Bill Banning Marriage Visa Petitions for Minors Stalling in Congress

by admin on November 6, 2019

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An immigration bill that would close loopholes that allow adults to petition the government for a marriage or fiancé visa for a minor, and vice versa, is stalled out in Congress.

The bill was drafted by a group of Republican senators after they viewed a report by the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that showed from 2007 to 2017, there were over 5,500 adults living in the US who petitioned for a visa for their underage spouse or fiancé.

The report also shockingly found 3,500 cases of a children petition for a marriage or fiancé visa (known as K1 and K3 visas) for their overseas partner.

The reason this occurs is that the US Immigration and Nationality Act places no minimum age for a person to sponsor a spouse or fiancé to come to the US.

As long as the child marriage was legal in the country it took place and is legal in the state where the couple plans to live, or vice versa, then the petition is technically legal.

The bill’s proponents argue that closing these loopholes is absolutely necessary to stifle child marriages because not only do states have different legal age limits for marriage, many young girls are being forced to marry so they can act as a passport for foreign men to legally come to the US.

“You have to be 21 right now to petition for your parent to get a visa [under US immigration law],” said Fraidy Reiss, founder and executive director at Unchained at Last. “But you could be 8 and petition for your 80-year-old husband. I mean, that’s ridiculous.”

Despite serving a good cause, the bill hasn’t made any progress in Congress since being introduced back in March.

Read the full story here.

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