Marriage-Based Green Card Fraud On The Rise Amid Controversy Surrounding Merit-Based Immigration System

Ashley Hoffman - Author
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Aug. 11 2017, Updated 8:05 a.m. ET

A speedy marriage to a U.S. citizen can reduce an immigrant’s waiting time for a visa from five years to three months, according to Newsweek. The current climate regarding the immigration laws in the United States has made business very lucrative for marriage brokers wanting to unite immigrants with their American “spouse.”

The marriage brokers — who also function as travel agents, notaries public, lawyers or entrepreneurs — solicit willing partners who are often down-and-out divorcees, homosexuals, prostitutes, or addicts in methadone clinics, according to Newsweek.

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Just recently, President Trump backed a controversial immigration bill, the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act. The legislation would create a “merit-based” point system that would prioritize high-skilled foreigners seeking to come to the U.S. According to Forbes, the system would replace the current family-based immigration system that has formed the basis of U.S. immigration laws for the past 50 years.

The RAISE Act would also prioritize green card awards to those who speak English, can financially support themselves and have job skills useful to the U.S., according to the Los Angeles Times.

Back in February of 2017, Liana Barrientos married 10 men in over 11 years in a green-card marriage scam. Many of the husbands were from “red-flagged” countries, according to Fox News. One of Barrientos’ spouses made threatening statements against the U.S. and was deported to his home country of Pakistan, according to authorities.

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