Green Card Marriage Scam Often Ignored

Green-card marriage scam often ignored

By Chad Groening
The One News Now, December 15, 2008

David Seminara adjudicated thousands of marriage-based green-card applications while serving in the State Department. He recently wrote a background paper for the Center for Immigration Studies called 'Hello, I Love You, Won't You Tell Me Your Name: Inside the Green Card Marriage Phenomenon.'

Seminara says American citizens are sometimes the victims of unsavory individuals who marry them simply in order to obtain a green card. He recalls the experience of one woman who taped her Macedonian husband's telephone conversations.

'He was actually speaking to his real girlfriend…in Macedonian in which she did not understand the language,' Seminara explains. 'But she went to the trouble of recording the conversations and having a professional translator translate them — and it was clear she had smoking-gun proof basically that this guy used her just for the green card.'

But Seminara says despite this evidence, the government did not send the man packing.

'The Department of Homeland Security is afraid of giving a veto power to Americans,' he says. 'If they always believe the American, then Americans who got divorced could just very vindictively say, oh well, she was just in it for the green card. And if they just took the American's word for that, there would definitely be cases where the foreigner would lose their status basically unfairly.'

Seminara, who served in Macedonia, Trinidad, and Hungary while with the State Department, says it is very unfortunate that often nothing happens when Americans who do get duped contact authorities.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The CIS Backgrounder is available on line at: