The article highlights that the US Department of State has approved thousands of requests made by older men wanting to bring their underage spouses or fiancées to the Land of the Free, according to government data collected by the Associated Press reveals.
Reviewing the data from 2007 to 2017, reporters found that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is the agency that first examines petitions before passing them to the State Department for approval, received some 3.5 million petitions during that period of time.
Of the 3.5 million petitions, the data shows that the State Department gave their seal of approval to 5,556 cases that detailed applicants, 149 of whom were aged 40 and older, wanting to bring their minor spouses or fiancées stateside. Another 2,926 approvals were given to minors seeking to bring older spouses to the US.
But the matter of child brides isn’t only linked to petitions submitted to the USCIS. A 2017 report by the Tahirih Justice Center, an advocacy organization focused on protecting the rights of immigrant women and girls, found that more than 200,000 children under 18 were married in the US between 2010 and 2015.