Don’t use a marriage broker. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. When I was in law school, I didn’t know what in the hell a marriage broker was. It wasn’t until I started practicing immigration law that I even heard the concept of a marriage broker. But a marriage broker is someone who finds an immigrant, and finds a U.S citizen, and arranges a fake marriage for that couple.
I never would’ve thought of this as a business. Obviously, it’s a criminal business, but there are people out there called marriage brokers, and they’ll find immigrants who are desperate, maybe people who came on a visit visa and have long since overstayed, and they’ll match them up with a U.S citizen who may or may not even understand that they’re getting involved in a crime. It’s a crime to engage in marital fraud. It’s a federal crime to marry someone just to get an immigration benefit. It’s a federal crime to give money to someone to marry you so that you get an immigration benefit.
These marriage brokers sort of prey on both sides. Usually, they find people from the lower economic part of society, people who are desperate for money, and they concoct a huge story, and they make up fake evidence, and they create a marriage out of whole cloth. They create a marriage that isn’t real. I really hate these guys. It really makes our lives harder. Every now and then you come across a marriage that may or may not be legitimate. For the first time we’ve been confronted with a case in which it’s alleged there was a marriage broker involved, and that was quite surprising.
So I’m just shooting this video. It’s a short one. I think in a lot of ways it is self-evident, but you really want to make sure that if you’re applying for an immigration benefit that you did not get married just to get that immigration benefit. Whether you’re paying a marriage broker or your uncle introduced you or whatever, the marriage has to be legitimate. USCIS has tools in their toolbox to try to figure out if the marriage was legitimate or not.
Now, the main reason and the main way they do that is, after the immigration benefit is applied for, they go hard after the U.S citizen. And they try to get the U.S citizen to admit or they scare the U.S citizen into talking about entering into a marriage for non-legitimate reasons, not for love, but rather to get an immigration benefit. It’s stupid. Don’t do it. Don’t get involved in it. Don’t take money to marry someone. And don’t pay someone to marry you to get an immigration benefit.
I know these things sound obvious, but given some things that we’ve seen lately, sometimes things aren’t so obvious and they just need to be said. So, please don’t make my life harder. Please don’t make the lives harder on husbands and wives, or husbands and husbands, and wives and wives who want to be together. Don’t make USCIS’s job harder. Don’t make the interview process harder for legitimate couples. There’s no place for that here.
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