Mail order brides is a concept that we think we only see in cinemas. In terms of the United States immigration, there are instances that you would need to check if you are being brought to the United States for a forced marriage.
In this article, let us talk about the concept of forced marriages as defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
United States Government Statement on Forced Marriages
The United States government has issued the following statement to guide individuals who may be in a situation of a forced marriage.
The U.S. government is opposed to forced marriage and considers it to be a serious human rights abuse. If the victim of forced marriage is a child, forced marriage is also a form of child abuse.
The U.S. government is working in the United States and abroad to end the practice and to assist individuals who have been forced into marriage or are at risk of being forced into marriage.
In some U.S. states, forced marriage is a crime, and in all U.S. states, people who force someone to marry may be charged with violating state laws, including those against domestic violence, child abuse, rape, assault, kidnapping, threats of violence, stalking, or coercion. People who force someone to marry may also face significant immigration consequences, such as being inadmissible to or removable from the United States.
If you have been or are being forced into marriage, you are not at fault and you have not violated any U.S. laws by entering into the marriage.
Am I in a Forced Marriage?
If you think that you are or may be in a forced marriage, you can check out if you fit any of the following circumstances as shared by the USCIS:
- You feel you do not or did not have a choice regarding whom to marry or when to marry.
- You are experiencing or being threatened with abandonment, isolation, or physical or emotional abuse if you do not marry or if you attempt to leave a marriage you did not consent to.
- You are afraid of the consequences of saying “no” to a marriage, including suffering physical harm or being cut off from your family.
- You are being closely monitored in an effort to prevent you from talking to others about the pressure you are facing.
- You feel you cannot refuse to marry or leave a marriage you did not consent to because it would shame or harm you or your family.
- You believe that you or people you care about would be hurt or even killed if you refuse to marry or attempt to leave a marriage you did not consent to.
- You have had your travel documents, identification, communication devices, or money taken away from you and will not get them back unless you agree to marry or remain in a marriage you did not consent to.
There is more to this discussion that we will cover in the coming articles.
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The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
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