Would you Marry Me? Marriage and Immigration

Written by Carmen Cornejo

When U.S. Senator Jon Kyl introduced a watered-down version of the DREAM Act called the ACHIEVE Act, which did not include a path to citizenship for young immigrants, he made one of the most ignorant statements of his political career:

“Realistically, young people frequently get married. In this country, the biggest marriage pool are U.S. citizens. A U.S. citizen can petition for a spouse to become a citizen in a very short time… so I don’t think it’s any big secret that a lot of people who might participate in this program are going to have a very quick path to citizenship, if that’s the path they choose.”

Kyl was suggesting immigrants commit fraud by marrying U.S. citizens. Never mind that for many, changing their immigration status through marriage is nearly impossible.

His statement, in 2012, sparked a storm of satire.

Hundreds of young immigrants posted sexy pictures of themselves along with their names, age, measurements, education, jobs, interests and status (DACA-mented, DACA-pending, Sin Papeles, etc.) in a mock dating service Facebook page called “Citizen4Me”:

“Aspiring Pharmacy student… currently a technician. I see hundreds of drugs every day but the only drug I need is your love (aka your papers, good credit score and financial capacity to pay for my education). If you can give me that, I promise I’ll put the D in Pharm D”

There is no better way to relieve the stress and anxiety that the immigration debate causes than to make fun of misinformed politicians.

The truth is the change of status from undocumented to “documented” is very difficult or impossible to get unless the undocumented person has been “inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States and is able to meet all required qualifications for a green card (permanent residence) in a particular category.”

This process is called Adjustment of Status.

Any possibility of change of status for undocumented immigrants, including DACA recipients, should be explored with the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer.

Click here to see the categories of Adjustment of Status.

Read our guide to finding a good immigration lawyer.

Read 10 Questions to Ask an Immigration Lawyer before hiring one.