An American woman who survived a forced child marriage is warning that President Joe Biden’s massive Afghan resettlement operation to the United States may be aiding and abetting “in a culture of forced marriage” between minor girls and adult men.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Sasha Taylor details how she was forced into a marriage with an adult man at the age of 15 so that he could secure a visa and, later, a green card to remain in the U.S. long after his initial visa expired.
Federal immigration law, Taylor writes, helped ensure that her devout Muslim family could use loopholes to keep the adult man in the U.S. by using her as his visa sponsor.
“Arizona’s marriage law and loopholes in U.S. immigration law meant my family still had avenues by which they could exploit and force me — a U.S. citizen and a minor — into marriage,” Taylor writes:
Within months of my forced engagement, I was married in an Arizona courthouse. Because I was a minor, my husband became my legal guardian and was able to fill out his own visa application, naming me as his sponsor. [Emphasis added]
As Taylor notes, even if she had been forced to marry outside the U.S., the federal government would have recognized the marriage — helping her adult male spouse to win a green card.
Since August 2021, President Joe Biden has brought at least 75,000 Afghans to the U.S. for resettlement across 46 states. About 52,000 Afghans, as of last month, have already been resettled in American communities.
Taylor warns in the op-ed that although it may seem like Afghans arriving in the U.S. are free from persecution by the Taliban, many Afghan girls are at risk due to a “culture of forced marriage.”
“Many of the girls arriving from Afghanistan in recent months may be free from the brutality of the Taliban, but they are not free from families who believe in a culture of forced marriage,” Taylor writes.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed in a Senate hearing in September that the federal government had facilitated the resettlement of Afghan men married to minor girls to the U.S.
“There have been, to my knowledge, a limited number of cases where we have separated people because we were concerned that they were … of the cases I’m aware of, a handful,” Blinken said.
Taylor writes that lawmakers ought to raise the minimum visa sponsorship age to 18-years-old and ban American families from sending children abroad for the purpose of marrying adults only to then be used as visa sponsors to win their spouses green cards.
The Biden administration’s Afghan resettlement, the largest in U.S. history, has been conducted with minimal screening and vetting as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has admitted in congressional testimony.
“We are not conducting in-person, refugee interviews of 100 percent individuals,” Mayorkas said.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.