US laws permit immigration of child brides. 1000s of requests from male applicants to bring the child and young brides to live in the US were approved in the last 10 years. This has been revealed by the Government data that was obtained by the Associated Press. In one of the cases, one man aged 49 years applied for immigration of a girl aged 15 years.
The approvals of such immigration petitions are legal under US laws. The minimum age requirement has not been specified by the Immigration and Nationality Act. This is for a person filing the application or for the spouse or fiancé of the person. On the other hand, the applicant has to be of minimum 21 years of age for bringing in overseas parents to the US.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services first looks into whether the marriage is lawful in the home nation of the spouse or fiancé while weighing applications. It then checks whether the wedlock would be lawful in the residence state of the applicant. Marriage between minors and adults is not unusual in the US. Majority of the states permit marriage of children with few restrictions, as quoted by the Washington Post.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee compiled a report in 2017 based on requested data. It revealed 5,000 plus cases of adults filing a petition on behalf of minors. There were also 3,000 cases of minors applying to bring in older fiancés or spouses. The approval is the first step in the 2-step Visa process. USCIS has said that it has taken measures for better flagging and vetting of petitions.
Michael Bars the Spokesman for USCIS said that it is up to the Congress ultimately to bring more legal clarity and certainty for this process. It is for both USCIS officers and petitioners, added Bars.
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