Illegal immigrants are leaning towards sham marriages as Trump’s immigration order strengthens.
LA resident “A” can’t help but feel dismayed over countless news on immigrants getting arrested due to Trump’s immigration order.
This is most likely because “A” is a permanent resident in the United States but A’s son is an illegal immigrant. “A” had made marriage arrangements about an year ago between A’s son and a long friend’s daughter, which was in reality a sham marriage. But “A” ended up regretting this decision.
“They continued to demand for money even after we made our first agreed payment. I later realized that they had separately demanded for money to my son as well. We already gave them $30,000. They not only didn’t show up for the permanent residency interview but also drastically changed their attitude after the marriage.”
The bigger problem is that they are demanding to cancel the marriage since “A” isn’t giving them money anymore.
“A” said, “We can’t even sue them or tell anyone about this. I don’t want to be threatened anymore and I’m not even thinking about getting my money back. But I become really anxious whenever I hear news about illegal immigrants getting arrested.”
As illegal immigrants fret about their status, cases involving same-sex marriage in order to get legal immigration status are on the rise as well.
“B”, who owns a restaurant in LA Koreatown, mentioned, “A Hispanic employee at the restaurant told me how his/her immigration status problem was resolved. The employee became a legal immigrant through same-sex marriage despite the fact that he/she wasn’t a homosexual person.”
Same-sex marriage had become legal in 2013 in California. Immigration lawyers are mentioning that sham marriages are very dangerous and risky.
Immigration lawyer Christy Lee stated, “Just like A’s case you cannot get any form of protection if you commit a sham marriage. If caught, the nation can even deprive your children of their permanent residency rights.”
She added, “You may receive separate interviews if there is any bit of suspicion during the permanent residency interview. You will be asked where the TV is located in your house, what you ate for dinner yesterday, and every other small details. Sham marriage is a really dangerous route.”
Immigration lawyer Jonathan Park also emphasized, “When declared as a sham marriage, you will first be deprived of your legal immigration status and will also lose the chance to receive any kind of legal status in the future. You may even get fined $250,000 or become imprisoned for a maximum of 5 years. You will never have a second chance if caught of this crime.”
Original article available on http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=5084140
By Soo-yeon Oh
Translated by Ellen Kim