Immigration marriage fraud, often taken all too lightly by the press, has yet again been linked with murder.
This is the fifth time we have seen this linkage in the last couple of years, with previous cases noted in an earlier blog.
The latest incidence of these combined crimes appeared in a February 27 New York Times article. It told of a Pakistani family that threatened to kill one of their own, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen who once lived in Brooklyn, if she did not proceed with a fraudulent marriage to a Pakistani, who presumably wanted a green card.
Amina Ajmal went through with the marriage and there were 1,000 guests present, which suggests family-wide acceptance of the marriage, an ominous sign. Subsequently, her father, without her consent, filed a petition over her (presumably forged) signature seeking residence for her new spouse.
The young woman's relatives not only threatened her with death, according to the paper, but her Brooklyn-resident father (citizenship not clear) told her over the phone that if she did not return home he would "arrange for members of her family in Pakistan to be killed, authorities said."
Given the father-daughter relationship, "members of her family" would have had to include either his own relatives, or his in-laws; that part was also not clear.
What was clear was that these were not hollow threats, as the Times story continued, "On Monday Pakistani police and news media reported that two relatives of Ms. Ajmal's had been fatally shot, and that another had been severely injured."
As is often the case, the whole situation did not come to light because of careful USCIS monitoring of the application, nor was government action forthcoming before the marriage or before the murders, but once Ms. Ajmal complained it started helping. According to the Times, the bride escaped from her relatives in Pakistan with the help of the U.S. embassy; subsequently ICE agents arrested the father, who is being held without bail.
More broadly, the United States is much too casual about who is admitted to this country as a result of visa applications filed by members of extended families; is particularly obtuse about the problems of forced marriages (such as Ms. Ajmal's); and is considerably less aware of these matters than UK immigration officials, as noted in an earlier blog.