Thousands of requests by men to bring in child and adolescent brides to live in the United States were approved over the past decade. That is according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.
In one case, a 49-year-old man applied for admission for a 15-year-old girl.
The approvals are legal. The Immigration and Nationality Act does not set minimum age requirements. If the marriage is legal in the home country, then they approve it.
The lure of a U.S. passport is fueling forced marriages, critics and victims of forced marriages assert. They also say the U.S. marriage laws are too lax.
Marriage between adults and minors is not uncommon in the United States, and most states allow children to marry with some restrictions, the AP reports. However, forced marriages are not allowed.
There were more than 5,000 cases of adults petitioning on behalf of minors and nearly 3,000 examples of minors seeking to bring in older spouses or fiancés, according to the data requested by the Senate Homeland Security Committee in 2017.
Congress is looking at it and will hopefully do something.