Oregon’s first lady, Cylvia Hayes, had an illegal marriage exposed by the Willamette Week.
Hayes, 47, agreed to the union in 1997 with an 18-year-old Ethiopian immigrant while she was also a student working her way through college.
“I was struggling to put myself through college and was offered money in exchange for marrying a young person who had a chance to get a college degree himself if he were able to remain in the United States,” Hayes said in a statement.
Hayes’ story of childhood poverty, perseverance and two previous marriages before meeting her husband, Gov. John Kitzhaber, have often been told, but this is the first time the “green card marriage” allegations have become public.