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Matthew's Pravda
Matthew's Pravda

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Immigration Fraud & Mail Order Brides

This is a Usenet dialog. After researching, and finding some very humorous and sad postings on Usenet I posted this. I was not trolling (trying to pick a fight or start a flame war.) Since I have similar information on my web page I though it would be nice to know if it is accurate and up to date:

I have read on the Usenet that if a foreigner marries a US citizen and then disappears 3 months later, that :

  1. The citizen will be fined 1/2 million and be put in jail 5 years

  2. The citizen will have to pay for any welfare the foreigner collects

  3. The foreigner can marry another citizen and start the process over again

  4. Or the foreigner can file a form claiming the marriage was bone fide and essentially become a permanent resident.

  5. Or the foreigner can file for a suspension of deportation f) Or the foreigner can slander the ex-spouse with impossible to disprove accusations of abuse.

Is this all true?

I got back a grumpy response

I find it difficult (good job!) to tell if you are a total idiot, and this is genuine; or if you are a troll with a little too much time, and a small imagination, but the question that comes to mind is, why do you care?

T.C. Wright, Ph.D. * It isn't pollution that's harming the
Green Oaks Res. * environment, it is the impurities in the * air and water that are doing it

So I calmly wrote back:

I care since my last wife gained entry to the US on account of my sponsorship. Suprise, suprise, she disappeared a few months after the marriage. (This would support your idiot hypothesis) I care deeply about my contingent liability, and somewhat less about what this means for Immigration policy in general.

A good percent of immigrants gain entry through the marriage loophole. Its quick, easy to defraud and has no consequences that I have ever seen.

On the otherhand, the INS seems to promote the immigration of those of special talent, those with special skills, those with higher education, by offering special visas. But those people must overcome huge hurdles to get these numerically restricted visas. On the other hand, a lier who gets a marriage or fiancee visa, can enter with very little hassle. (Adjusting a J1 visa to F1 is murder in comparison to getting a foreign wife a green card, I've done both) The INS favors those who lie about marriage at the expense of immigrants who play by the rules. The INS's immigration policy has a bias for immigrants who are willing to break the rules. And oddly enough, the INS knows that this is a loophole and says it would like punish the citizen very severely, while at worst the prospective immigrant has to go home before trying again. Any imbalance here? Nah, perceived equity depends on which side you're on.

I think a better policy would be to allow adjustment for permanent residency status only if the prospective immigrant came to the US on a honest basis, (a work or student visa for example) and unexpectedly found it necessary to adjust status on the basis of being a mother or father of a US citizen. Of course this wouldn't reduce the volume of marriage visa fraud done by husbands, but that isn't numerically a big problem.

I see you care because you're wife has adjusted her status, (right? you posted on 8/13/96). I'm not sure if you are pro or anti immigration, but I think we can both agree that a consistent and logical policy without bias would at least be at least incrementally better.

Sorry if I sounded trollish, tone of writing not intended. I wish I did have too much time.

===== Imagination is the refuge of the deluded. ======

Being an intelligent man after all, T.C. Wright, Ph.D wrote back:

I apologize for my original post, but your missive appeared a lot like those of some of the n'er-do-wells who hang around the newsgroup looking to thump their proud American chests with unfounded superiority. I see now you had a legitimate concern, and perhaps did not wish to share it with everyone, though now you have.

I'm sure there are judgment calls involved, but as long as the appearance is that you entered into your marriage with the proper intent I cannot see that you will have a problem. Even if they try, remember you are vested with Constitutional protections and they have to prove that your intent was nefarious.

As far as the specific penalties that you mention; I have never heard of the half million dollar fine. As for the welfare stuff; technically this is true if you submitted an affidavit of support, but I have seen more than one attorney on the web say that there is no enabling legislation for this provision, so there is no enforcement.

As for the claims by the immigrant that the marriage is actually bona fide, and can stay. There is a provision for filing for removal of conditional status based on abuse, but there has to be some documentation. They can also remove con state even if there is a divorce if the marriage is entered into legitimately, but you get a say in this, and I suspect that you might no agree with her side. If you were married here and she has abandoned the relationship, then you have all the normal rights to terminate the marriage and the immigration hassles are all hers unless you appear to have colluded in the matter.

I offer the above as information I have gleaned from reading stuff in misc.imm.usa. and personal experience. I am not a lawyer, so take it for what it is worth

As far as your concerns about immigration. I am very much in favor of a fairly open policy. Despite what we all read, it is still a minority of the cases that involve fraud, and rather than cost the country the productivity of all of the "good" ones, I am afraid we just have to work on catching the bad ones. My wife did come here on a student visa before we met and she now has a PhD from Northwestern(go cats!), and while that was fine for us I don't know that it will work for everyone. I don't know what your situation was, so if my next statement offends, I apologize, but I think the most pressing need is to stop these mail-order-bride m-marriages where some lonely guy finds a woman in a catalog and then goes and "fetches " her. There is something fundamentally wrong with this that goes far beyond immigration policy, but maybe that's just me.

Thanks for taking the time to write and good luck

Cheers, Tom

T C Wright, Ph.D.
Green Oaks Research

Unfortunately, M. Pierre thought that TCW shouldn't have been so grumpy in the first place anyhow. I don't think she saw the last response. I also got a response from another person that said the Fiancee visa wasn't a loop hole because it could be used for legitimate reasons. True, but all rules are created with good intentions. If they can be used equally well for bad intentions, then it is a loophole. So here is what M.P. said:

From: "Michelle Pierre"
To: "Matthew Martin"

Hi Matthew,

I saw that post the asshole posted in reference to yours. That was very mean and uncalled for. Matthew I hope I can answer your question. i am not a lawyer but i keep very updated on immigration issues and very well read because my husband is a green card holder. I married him in Haiti in 93 and he now has a permanent green card. He is applying for naturalization this month.

As far as I know, if the American citizen knew of the intentions of the immigrant and cooperated with them in doing this fraud then YES, the American would be held responsible. but if the citizen knew nothing of what happened and you were duped just like immigration then they cannot hold you liable and punish you because you were an innocent bystander who was being used without your knowledge. You should be able to prove this and I would suggest contacting an immigration attorney.

Let me know if you have anymore questions. O.K. peace

I got this from some Scandinavian guy who though I was a radical right anti-immigrant anti-foreigner extremist.

You're wrong on all counts. There is no such thing as a 5-year jail term or a half-million fine, and whoever told you is probably some anti-immigrationist person who doesn't really care about whether he's spreading fact or fiction. The foreigner would not be able to start the process over again, since he'd have to answer yes to the question "have you ever committed visa fraud" on his application. The INS carefully scrutinizes any marriage at the end of the 2-year temporary period to make sure the marriage is bona fide. The only thing above that could be true in some cases is that the foreigner can slander the ex-spouse with accusations of abuse. These, however, are not impossible to disprove. And even though the INS can't probe the foreigner's intention, they *can* check if the couple is still married, if they live together, have shared bank accounts, etc. Go watch the movie "Green Card" to see how far they might go in some cases (although I believe that the movie is probably a little bit exaggerated.)

The situation you describe would be an enormous loophole. Fortunately, it's as far removed from reality as it possibly could be.

Disclaimer: My opinion is my own, and it is not a professional one.


I am to right. Read the doctor's opinion above.

Stian, my friend, do people where you come from always tell the truth when to tell the truth could mean deportation or jail and to tell a lie would mean guaranteed freedom? Immigration is great. I'm all for freedom of trade and factor mobility, but since we don't have it, we should obey the laws we have. To disobey a law you don't like today is anarchy. Unless you don't live under democracy, you have no excuse for breaking the law. If we break immigration law and say its okay, what's next?

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Matthew Martin
Any resemblance to semi-defunct communist newspapers is pure coincidental.
to dedicate your life to saving the tiger.

Front Page | My story | Nationalism | Letters | Fight Back | Better Ways

Matthew Martin
Any resemblance to semi-defunct communist newspapers is pure coincidental.
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