USCIS Improves Its Position on the Review of Teenage Marriages

By David North on April 16, 2019

Both my colleague Dan Cadman and I have written about immigration-expanding marriages of young citizens to older aliens, and the government's seemingly casual attitude about them (see here and here).

Maybe someone is listening to us, because USCIS just announced a somewhat more restrictive policy on those May-December marriages, in which the older partner is routinely an alien male and the younger one is an American citizen. These are often "arranged" by the girl's family, which means that she is pressured to accept it.

Since this would be an "immediate family" petition, the older alien is admitted outside any numerical ceilings, so such an admission always swells the U.S. population.

While none of description I have used above is reflected in the text of the USCIS document, the Department of Homeland Security has done something useful — and long overdue.

Now, in cases where either of the potential marriage partners is 15 or younger, or where one of them is 16 or 17 and the other is more than 10 years older, there will be a mandatory interview of the citizen signing the I-130 spousal petition.

This means — and I write this with a shudder — that until just now, there would be no automatic, early-on government interview in a case in which a 14-year-old citizen stated that she wanted to marry a, say, 45-year old alien. That is no longer true.

I had suggested earlier that the interview with the young (usually bride-to-be) should be conducted with her alone, with none of her family present. The new directive does not mention this variable.