Typically people commit marriage fraud to get to the United States for a better life, not to commit terrorism. However in the Era of Obama, “Marriage Visa Terrorism” is mainstream.
So the terror attack that happened in San Bernardino was not a matter of if it would happen with a terrorist who entered the country by marriage visa, but when.
Marriage Visas are the clearest and most direct path to legal citizenship, and thus they create lots of marriage frauds.
There are two major kinds of marriage fraud: the “con” cases and the “sham” cases. Not included in these two categories is the often used scam involving legal citizens marrying friends or relatives, usually in countries the citizen originally immigrated from.
In the con case, the sweet talking alien convinces the American he or she is in love, and thus they marry.Two years later when the green card is issued, the marriage suddenly ends, and a divorce ensues. The partner has been conned, typically having met online.
The sham case is when the alien, or their agent pays the American citizen to get married for two years. These are mainly cash transactions with fees reported to be as high $20,000.
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In one of the most egregious cases of a sham case, a Bronx woman was arrested this past April for marrying 10 men in 11 years. According to a NY Daily News,
7 of her spouses filed for green cards to become permanent residents within weeks of the marriages. She had as many as 8 husbands at one time. One of them was a Pakistani, who was deported for making threatening statements toward the U.S. Government in 2006. Others were from Egypt, Georgia, Turkey and Mali. These 5 countries are so called “red-flagged” by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
On December 9 in Houston, 5 Nigerian nationals were indicted in another sham case for allegedly marrying for immigration purposes. Six other were indicted and convicted of the same scam earlier this year.
Boko Haram is a terrorist organization from Nigeria that has declared itself an ISIS affiliate. It’s not unthinkable that they have ventured into the online dating scene to con lonely, love-lorn Americans to marry terrorists for the purpose of getting visas.
If we learn anything from San Bernardino, Americans who have been radicalized into this ideology will bring terrorists here as spouses via marriage cons and shams. ISIS has money and this could be very appealing to greedy or opportunistic followers.
A number of terrorists have obtained green cards and U.S. citizenship by marrying American citizens. Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani national who tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in May of 2010, obtained citizenship through marriage of a U.S. citizen.
An April 2, 2014 News Release from ICE reported that al Qaeda was engaged in marriage fraud:
“The 9/11 and Terrorist Travel Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorists Attacks upon the United States, cites a U.S. Government intelligence report that stated that Abu Zubaydah, who was arrested in Pakistan in March 2002 and held in Guantanamo Bay “said that some of the al Qaeda operatives married American women to obtain U.S. visas.” The report also stated that Khalid Sheikh Mohamed (KSM), the principal architect of 9/11, “believed it was a fantastic mechanism for operatives to acquire valid documents’”
The K-1 visa is what the San Bernardino terrorists used to launch their attack. In 2014, roughly 35,000 K-1 visas were issued.
There are approximately 250,000 immigrants who gained legal status through marriage to American citizens. Of that number, Homeland Security Investigations estimates between 5-15 percent of the visas may be fraudulent. The math on the potential terrorists is daunting, when you consider what only two people did in San Bernadino.
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