Where’s the #MeToo crowd when girls need them?
Over the past decade, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) waved thousands of children into the country to be brides of older men, many of them resident aliens.
“In almost all of these cases this involves cultures where young girls are often the subject of arranged marriages with much older men offering substantial dowries for the right to marry,” the Center for Immigration Studies states.
From 2007 to 2017, USCIS and the State Department approved 5,556 requests to admit spouses or fiancées under the age of 18, and 2,926 approvals of minors seeking to bring in older spouses.
Countries with the most requests were, in order, Mexico, Pakistan, Jordan, the Dominican Republic and Yemen. Middle Eastern nationals had the highest percentage of overall approved petitions.
In 2016, FAIR noted that forced marriage was a growing problem among immigrant groups in America. At the time, Syrian refugee communities had a particularly high incidence of child brides.
Marvels of cultural diversity notwithstanding, the United States has laws governing when individuals are “of age” for matrimony. The threshold is predicated on one’s ability to make mature decisions and to give informed consent.
Unfortunately, and unbelievably, the U.S. the Immigration and Nationality Act sets no minimum age requirement. In weighing petitions for spouses or fiancées, USCIS considers when marriages are legal in the home countries, where brides can be 13, 12 or even younger. The agency said it rejected just 2.6 percent of spousal or fiancée claims.
“It indicates a loophole that we need to close,” said Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Indeed. Immigration policies that permit the importation of underage brides makes a disgusting farce of American ideals and mocks this nation’s commitment to safeguarding inalienable human rights.
Are you with us, #MeToo?