Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Common Practice Among Peoples of the Middle East

A practice that has spread to other lands - many, if not most, of them populated by Muslims.

I'm referring to the use of Cousin Marriage. That is, not the happenstance of 3rd or 4th cousins falling in love, and wanting to marry, but the deliberate practice of encouraging (sometimes, to the extent of forcing) naturalized citizens of Western countries to marry some relative from the home country, and be able to extend the relatives' immigration benefit to them, as well.

I've PERSONALLY known of people who used this method of bypassing VISA lines to get into the USA. They include:

  • A friend of mine who had to wait until her boyfriend's 'wife' managed to get her permanent resident paperwork approved, before he could divorce her, and marry the woman he actually loved. His family had pressured him to marry the related stranger, so the woman could enter the country. He was told he 'owed' them this favor - and, as the family later bankrolled several businesses for him, he probably did. (although the family was Maronite Catholic, the marriage was a civil ceremony, so did not affect his ability to marry in the Catholic church after his divorce).
  • Another friend was told to marry her husband - sight unseen - and keep up the pretense for a few years. Again, this was straightforwardly explained to the prospective bride as a benefit for the family. Sometimes, it's a matter of mutual obligations to an extended family branch. Sometimes, there is a cash payment involved.
  • I can think of another 3-4 other pretend couples, off the top of my head. That I know of so many is easily explained by my address in Cleveland, on the West Side, where so many Middle Eastern families have located. Many, if not most, of the businesses on Lorain Avenue between Rocky River Drive and around West Blvd. display their signs in Arabic, and SOMETIMES English. Or both.

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