Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rooting out Marriage Fraud for Immigration

As is well known, a person who marries a U. S. citizen can get citizenship. (There are a couple of restrictions such as criminal background checks and the like.) But the most important is to make sure that it is not a sham marriage. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interviews couples separately. I wrote a letter that I worked with a student in their apartment. (I am known for helping my students extensively. Most of the time I work wit the students in the University-provided computer labs but occasionally it is convenient for me to make a house call.) And I wrote observed that appeared to be two people living there, him and his wife. In some areas, the immigration office might randomly and unexpectedly arrive in the morning to see if the partners are obviously living together or not obviously together.

The United States citizenship and Immigration Services interviews couples separately, creating what the New York Times described as a Kafkaesque procedure reminiscent of TV quiz games to see if the couple knew what color toothbrush each partner had. There is a special procedure for those where the first interview raised an issue of the marriage being a fraud. THis office employs twenty-two officers, and they don't have any specific rules, expertise, or statistical evidence to determine which marriages were fraudulent or not. Just interesting phrases like, I should not be able to know more about your husband in fourty-five minutes than you do.

I wrote earlier about Using sortition juries for all aspects of immigration. And I don't see how twelve randomly selected citizens could be any less logical or scientific in making these important decisions, both for the nation and the couples involved.

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