Claim: Migrant Husband Used French Wife to Bring ‘Real’ Family to Europe

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A 36-year-old French woman claims that her abusive migrant husband used her in an attempt to obtain French citizenship so he could abandon her and her children and bring his African wife and family to France.

The woman, named Catherine, left her now ex-husband four years ago after discovering the Senegalese man had tried to use her to obtain citizenship and that he led a double-life, having a Senegalese wife and children, it is alleged.

“I had two daughters with him, who are 13 and 10 years old. This is a man I met on the Internet. He lived in Africa, in Dakar. I fell in love. He wanted me to marry him in Senegal. I went there, and we got married,” Catherine told broadcaster Europe1.

The couple lived with Catherine’s parents, to begin with, and according to the 36-year-old, her husband became verbally and physically abusive privately but put on an act when her parents were present.

“It’s very demeaning to feel used. I felt betrayed. His goal was to obtain French citizenship to bring over his wife and children who were in Senegal. I didn’t know until after I left him. I knew he would send money there every month, but he told me it was for his mother. It was a huge amount of money,” she said.

“He never managed to get his wife and children to come to France because I always refused to start the process for him to obtain French citizenship. I had doubts because he was always asking for it. And my family told me not to… When I refused, he became a demon,” she added.

Sham marriages to help migrants who could not otherwise legally stay in the country have been seen across many countries in Europe.

In 2019, the German-based NGO “Mission Lifeline” actually suggested that citizens marry asylum seekers to help them remain in Germany.

“You’re not married yet? Maybe you could fall in love with someone who doesn’t have the right to stay here? Could happen, right? Stay open,” the group wrote on social media.

That same year in France, a city project manager in Villepinte was accused of arranging sham marriages for migrants and was thought to be involved in at least a dozen such fake marriages.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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