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Requests to bring in child brides OK’d; legal under US laws

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of requests by men to bring in child and adolescent brides to live in the United States were approved over the past decade, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. In one case, a 49-year-old man applied for admission for a 15-year-old girl.

The approvals are legal: The Immigration and Nationality Act does not set minimum age requirements for the person making the request or for that person’s spouse or fiancee. By contrast, to bring in a parent from overseas, a petitioner has to be at least 21 years old.

And in weighing petitions, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services goes by whether the marriage is legal in the spouse or fiancee’s home country and then whether the marriage would be legal in the state where the petitioner lives.

The data raises questions about whether the immigration system may be enabling forced marriage and about how U.S. laws may be compounding the problem despite efforts to limit child and forced marriage. Marriage between adults and minors is not uncommon in the U.S., and most states allow children to marry with some restrictions.

There were more than 5,000 cases of adults petitioning on behalf of minors and nearly 3,000 examples of minors seeking to bring in older spouses or fiances, according to the data requested by the Senate Homeland Security Committee in 2017 and compiled into a report.

Some victims of forced marriage say the lure of a U.S. passport combined with lax U.S. marriage laws are partly fueling the petitions.

“My sunshine was snatched from my life,” said Naila Amin, a dual citizen born in Pakistan who grew up in New York City.

She was forcibly married at 13 in Pakistan and later applied for papers for her 26-year-old husband to come to the U.S. at the behest of her family. She was forced for a time to live in Pakistan with him, where, she said, she was sexually assaulted and beaten. She came back to the U.S., and he was to follow.

“People die to come to America,” she said. “I was a passport to him. They all wanted him here, and that was the way to do it.”

Amin, now 29, said she was betrothed when she was just 8 and he was 21. The petition she submitted after her marriage was approved by immigration officials, but he never came to the country, in part because she ran away from home. She said the ordeal cost her a childhood. She was in and out of foster care and group homes, and it took a while to get her life on track.

“I was a child. I want to know: Why weren’t any red flags raised? Whoever was processing this application, they don’t look at it? They don’t think?” Amin asked.

Fraidy Reiss, who campaigns against coerced marriage as head of a group called Unchained at Last, has scores of similar anecdotes: An underage girl was brought to the U.S. as part of an arranged marriage and eventually was dropped at the airport and left there after she miscarried. Another was married at 16 overseas and was forced to bring an abusive husband.

Reiss said immigration status is often held over their heads as a tool to keep them in line.

There is a two-step process for obtaining U.S. immigration visas and green cards. Petitions are first considered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. If granted, they must be approved by the State Department. Overall, there were 3.5 million petitions received from budget years 2007 through 2017.

Over that period, there were 5,556 approvals for those seeking to bring minor spouses or fiancees, and 2,926 approvals by minors seeking to bring in older spouses, according to the data. Additionally, there were 204 for minors by minors. Petitions can be filed by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

“It indicates a problem. It indicates a loophole that we need to close,” Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, told the AP.

In nearly all the cases, the girls were the younger person in the relationship. In 149 instances, the adult was older than 40, and in 28 cases the adult was over 50, the committee found. In 2011, immigration officials approved a 14-year-old’s petition for a 48-year-old spouse in Jamaica. A petition from a 71-year-old man was approved in 2013 for his 17-year-old wife in Guatemala.

There are no nationwide statistics on child marriage, but data from a few states suggests it is far from rare. State laws generally set 18 as the minimum age for marriage, yet every state allows exceptions. Most states let 16- and 17-year-olds marry if they have parental consent, and several states — including New York, Virginia and Maryland — allow children under 16 to marry with court permission.

Reiss researched data from her home state, New Jersey. She determined that nearly 4,000 minors, mostly girls, were married in the state from 1995 to 2012, including 178 who were under 15.

“This is a problem both domestically and in terms of immigration,” she said.

Reiss, who says she was forced into an abusive marriage by her Orthodox Jewish family when she was 19, said that often cases of child marriage via parental consent involve coercion, with a girl forced to marry against her will.

“They are subjected to a lifetime of domestic servitude and rape,” she said. “And the government is not only complicit; they’re stamping this and saying: Go ahead.”

The data was requested in 2017 by Johnson and then-Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, the committee’s top Democrat. Johnson said it took a year to get the information, showing there needs to be a better system to track and vet the petitions.

“Our immigration system may unintentionally shield the abuse of women and children,” the senators said in the letter requesting the information.

USCIS didn’t know how many of the approvals were granted by the State Department, but overall only about 2.6 percent of spousal or fiancee claims are rejected.

Separately, the data show some 4,749 minor spouses or fiancees received green cards to live in the U.S. over that 10-year period.

The head of USCIS, L. Francis Cissna, said in a letter to the committee that its request had raised questions and discussion within the agency on what it can do to prevent forced minor marriages. Officials created a flagging system that requires verification of the birthdate whenever a minor is detected.

But it’s difficult to make laws around the age when so many states allow for young marriages.

The country where most requests came from was Mexico, followed by Pakistan, Jordan, the Dominican Republic and Yemen. Middle Eastern nationals had the highest percentage of overall approved petitions.



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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. John Irwin Reston

    January 12, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    The US is going straight to Hell in a hand cart. But don’t tell anyone, I wanna watch.

  2. Mike Dexter (AKA Ransom Davidson on Facebook)

    January 12, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    This is outrageous and proof that our government is corrupt and allowing pedophilia/child rape to take place within what is supposed to be a free country for all; children and adults alike. Our laws are ones that all should have to abide by once they live here with no exceptions for other cultures/practices that conflict with those laws. No doubt many politicians and others in positions of authority within this country are closet pedophiles themselves though, so no wonder this is going on. And I am sure CAIR and other Muslim organizations within this country are also behind the lax immigration laws/loopholes that lead to this obvious evil and crime against humanity. This needs to be stopped ASAP and at all costs by changes to the immigration laws, period. 😡

    • Larry Del Buco PHD

      January 13, 2019 at 6:30 am

      In my best Spanish accent,
      “How much for the little girl”?

      • Barbaree

        February 26, 2019 at 1:23 am

        When my NY cab stopped at a light a number of years ago, a man looked in the window at me and asked the driver “how much for the woman?” I thought he was kidding, but now I’m not so sure.

    • bob gorski

      January 24, 2019 at 5:15 pm

      And that law was put into affect by Obama’s signature!!

      • Canam884

        February 13, 2019 at 3:15 pm

        That is reason enough to revoke it. Age of consent(federal) should be considered and enforced.
        Obama let many things that are accepted in Muslim society into American society without consultation. Time to examine what he allowed to pass, and reject those that do not fit into in American society.

  3. Chris

    January 15, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    The other problem this country has with Muslim immigrants is the multiple wives. They come freely but it’s illegal in this country? The worse part though is that each adult, over 18, is given appprox $5,000. per month and this comes out of the SS fund, which I worked 50+ years paying into. So a man w/2 wives and a 19yr old son will get approx $20,000 PER MONTH, PLUS free medical,dental & eye care, free or discounted housing and more. I don’t $20,000 PER YEAR from SS, and because it’s running out of money – I Wonder Why? – they want to eliminate it for Seniors. And Medicare does NOT cover dental or eye and besides paying into it for 50+ years I still have to pay for it.

    Doubtless they will continue to find the $$ to pay these immigrants though!

    • George

      January 16, 2019 at 5:53 pm

      trump is doing little to help the situation.

      • wilson

        January 18, 2019 at 9:20 am

        You blame Trump for Pakistani culture and traditions now? Get outa here. Blame those who are to blame. You two faced hypocrite.

    • Rhino

      February 23, 2019 at 9:32 pm

      Some ones mind baths in bullshit

  4. Richard Daugherty

    January 17, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Time to stop this nonsense and deport these people. Obama the Muslim is gone now. We need to get back to the law. Many people will need to be deported.

  5. Woody20164

    January 29, 2019 at 9:13 am

    It seems a little arrogant for some to suggest that America should be setting the standard for life in other countries. Frankly, it’s none of our business to try to intervene in every application to see if it is an abusive situation. Young marriage does not necessarily equal abuse. This practice has been going on for millennia. Evolution/God provided for the perpetuation of the human specie at a certain point.

    Maybe we should focus on the American communities where the unwed, teen pregnancy rate is insane. In some demographics, half of all births are to single mothers, where the “father” isn’t even involved. At least in other countries, they are getting married.

    And how hypocritical of those who claim to “defend” teenagers. These are the same people who promote teaching sex education and how to put on condoms in the 5th grade.

    And honestly, 17 years old is hardly a “child bride”.

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Culture and Religion

Joseph as a type of Christ for gentiles and Jews to understand

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Joseph as a type of Christ for gentiles and Jews to understand

Whether for Jews, gentiles, or both, the Bible is loaded with messages intended to point to Yeshua as the Christ, our Messiah, Lord, and Savior. One of the most compelling stories that tells of a type of Christ is in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, in which Joseph is presented in a way that points to the Messiah to come to the world.

Many Bible scholars and theologians have talked about this. It’s the type of revelation that hits us hard when we connect the dots and realize the intense similarities between a man through which God saved Israel and the Christ through which the world is saved. It’s also a story that is not, in our opinion, discussed enough in churches. The significance is too important to pass over casually.

The Bible uses types throughout. Sometimes, a person can be a type that refers to someone in the past. Usually, they point to the future, giving us further affirmation of the timeless nature of the Father. Let’s look at a handful of similarities that point to Joseph as a type of Christ.

Men without Condemnation

Only Abraham is discussed more in the long book of Genesis than Joseph. Nearly everyone is presented with great faults, including Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even Noah, a just man, made a mistake after the flood that allowed Canaan to be cursed for eternity.

Joseph has arguably one fault described in the Bible. He may or may not have bragged to his brothers about his dreams in a way that was not truly humble. He told them as well as his father that they would all bow down to him someday. One can argue that he had to tell them and that he wasn’t doing so to brag but to declare a truth. Whether humbly or not, it was God’s Will for Joseph to tell of the dreams because this put it into his brothers’ hearts to betray him. Had they not, Israel would not have been able to go to Egypt and survive as a nation, at least not in the way that it happened in the Bible.

Genesis lays no condemnation on Jospeh. Yeshua is without sin, a status obviously higher than Joseph. If Joseph had no major faults and maintained faith in God throughout his story, then Yeshua magnified this to the point of righteousness. Joseph was only a man and therefore sinned, but he was without apparent flaw worth noting in the text. Yeshua was flawless.

Sent by His Father to Check on the Flock

This is a neat little note. Joseph was sent by his father to check on his brothers and the flock of sheep that they fed. Yeshua was sent by His Father to gather the brethren to tend to the flock.

While checking on the flocks, both were betrayed.

Betrayed by their Brethren

Joseph was cast into a pit while his brothers contemplated his fate. He was then taken by the Midianites and sold into slavery as his brothers watched helplessly.

Yeshua was betrayed by His people. One could take it further and point to those who knew Him as He grew up in Nazareth. They did not accept Him, even wanting to hurl Him off a cliff and few in His homeland believed that He was anything other than the carpenter’s son. Then, of course, we could look at Judas Iscariot, an original disciple who ultimately betrayed him.

With types, we can often see different degrees expressed. In Joseph’s case, he was betrayed to a life of slavery while Yeshua was betrayed to death. Joseph’s freedom was sold for 20 pieces of silver while Yeshua’s life was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Joseph saved nations. Yeshua saved the world.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of their betrayals is that both Joseph and Yeshua were falsely accused.

Two Criminals, One Saved

When Joseph was imprisoned, he came across two others who were condemned. He interpreted the dreams of the cup bearer and the baker. The cup bearer was to live while the baker was to die.

On the cross, Yeshua was there with two criminals. One mocked Him. The other worshiped Him. One would be saved. The other was condemned.

Not Recognized by the People

Joseph was 17-years-old when he was betrayed by this brothers. He was in his thirties when they would see him again and they did not immediately recognize him, even when they ate with him. They knew he was a powerful man who did wonderful works for the people, but they did not see him as their brother nor the person who would eventually save their nation. In fact, they feared him.

Yeshua was also in His thirties when He went to spread the Word of God throughout the land. He was seen by the Jews as a powerful teacher, a healer, even a prophet, but most did not see Him as the Messiah. His works were revered by most but there were those who did not recognize that these works were done through the Father. They both hated and feared Him.

Others

Bible History put together a pretty comprehensive list of similarities in the form of verses:

Joseph Jesus
Joseph was Loved by His Father – Genesis 37:3 God said about Jesus “this is my beloved son” – Matthew 3:17
Joseph’s brothers did not believe him and hated him – Genesis 37:4-5 The Jews Did Not Believe in Christ – John 7:5 and they hated him – John 15:24
Joseph’s brothers rejected his right to rule – Genesis 37:8 The Jewish leaders said “we will not have this man to rule over us” Luke 19:14
Joseph’s brothers conspired against him – Genesis 37:23 They took counsel against Jesus Matthew 27:1
They stripped Joseph of his garments –  Genesis 37:23 They stripped Jesus –  Matthew 27:28
Joseph was sold for silver – Genesis 37:28 Jesus was sold for silver –  Matthew 26:15
Everything Joseph put his hand to prospered –  Genesis 39:3 “… And the pleasure of the Lord prospered in his hand” – Isaiah 53:10
All things were laid into Joseph’s trust –  Genesis 39:4-8 God hath given all things into his hand – John 3:35
Joseph’s own brothers did not recognize him. The Jews did not recognize their Messiah
Joseph was tempted and did not sin –  Genesis 39:9 Jesus was tempted in all things yet was without sin – Hebrews 4:15
Joseph was bound – Genesis 39:30 Jesus was bound – Matthew 27:2
Joseph was condemned with two criminals – Genesis 40:2, 3 Jesus was crucified with two criminals – Luke 23:32
One criminal was given life and the other was condemned – Genesis 40:21-22) Jesus told one of the criminals “Today you shall be with me in paradise” – Luke 23:43
Joseph was trustworthy and wise –  Genesis 41:39 God said about Jesus “this is my beloved son in whom I well pleased” – Mark 1:11
Joseph’s brothers bowed their knee to him – Genesis 41:43 “At the name of Jesus every knee will bow” – Philippians 2:10
Joseph was 30 years old – Genesis 41:46 Jesus was “about 30 years old” – Luke 3:25
God planned the suffering of Joseph in advance to save many – Genesis 50:21 Jesus said “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall be saved” – John 3:16
Joseph was made ruler over all of Egypt – Genesis 41:42-44 Jesus said “all power has been given unto me” – 8:18
Joseph married a foreign bride who shared his glory – Genesis 41:45 Believers in Christ are “joint heirs” with him in his glory – Romans 8:17
Joseph was cast into a pit and then later delivered out of it – Genesis 37:24, 28 When Jesus died he descended into the lower parts of the earth, and later ascended into heaven – Ephesians 4:9
Joseph was imprisoned based on false charges – Genesis 39:19, 20 During the trial of Jesus false witnesses were brought in testifying against him – Mark 14:56
Joseph’s brothers later repented for what they did to him – Genesis 42:7 “and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn” – Zechariah 12:10

As a representation of the coming Messiah, Joseph acts as the right type to be able to point Jews and gentiles to the truth. Joseph had no ministry per se, but he did represent the rise, fall, and complete ascension of a man whom God used to make the tribe of Israel a nation that would rise from Egypt and take the land that was promised to their father Abraham.

This comparison allows everyone today to understand the divinity of Yeshua and the coming reign of our Lord. In the end, Joseph was accepted by his people and set the path for their lives to come. The same will be said of Yeshua in the last days.

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Conspiracy Theory

Evidence points to some dinosaurs living beyond the extinction event

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Evidence points to some dinosaurs living beyond the extinction event

It is, for all practical purposes, nearly impossible for the vast majority of people who have received a modern education to even consider the possibility that dinosaurs are not as old as we have been told. It’s a topic that I’ve avoided because the presuppositions are so powerful among the general population.

Today, I decided to tackle the topic with one purpose: to start a discussion with those who have an open mind. I’m well aware that most minds will be closed and there will be much more sarcasm than discourse, but ridicule from the indoctrinated masses is a small price to pay if just one person can hear this and decide to dig deeper into science and the Bible to have the truth revealed.

It’s been instilled in our minds as common knowledge that the dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago in the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event with the most prevalent alleged culprit being the impact of a comet or asteroid at Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. For the most part, anything that’s considered common knowledge can be sustained without anyone questioning the assumptions. For example, it was common knowledge based upon what was easily observable that the sun, moon, and stars revolved around the earth. That was finally debunked, of course, but scientific debate on the model of our solar system continued until the early 20th century.

A more recent example of common knowledge being wrong is the idea that acid caused by bad diet or stress is what causes ulcers. In 2005, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren won the Nobel Prize for Medicine by demonstrating that the vast majority of ulcers were caused by an infection of the bacterium H. pylori.

Now is not the time to debate young earth versus ancient earth, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that dinosaurs were around in the time of man. Even a brave segment of the secular scientist world has started questioning whether the extinction event killed off all of them based upon mounting evidence. There was even a formerly prominent professor who learned the hard way that bringing forth compelling scientific evidence of dinosaurs walking with men can earn people a quick entry onto the black list.

Over the centuries, intellectuals have had a difficult time having their worldviews shattered. The funny thing is that the existence of modern era dinosaurs doesn’t change much. It could mean that small pockets of the world were protected from the extinction event. One would not have to make huge adjustments to their worldview if this were the case which is why it’s so perplexing that they won’t even explore the possibility. It’s reminiscent of the persecution that Galileo received, only this time it’s not at the hand of the Christian church but rather at the hands of the church of science.

I want to go much deeper on the issue of why there seems to be reluctance at best and a systematic coverup at worst, but we’ll have to explore that on a future video. For now, I’d like to turn to a video we watched that gives a pretty interesting perspective. While I don’t agree with all of the conclusions or evidence, there’s enough good to make it appropriate for sharing.

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Culture and Religion

Houston library had Alberto Garza, a registered child sex offender, read stories to children for Drag Queen Storytime

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Houston library had Alberto Garza a registered child sex offender read stories to children for Drag

Conservatives know the LGBTQ community has their say in most aspects of life in America today. Their political and cultural influence is unquestionable and public organizations jump through hoops to appease the various groups. Many libraries have even embrace “Drag Queen Storytime” as a way to teach tolerance to children by allowing transvestites to read stories to children.

Houston Public Library is one such progressive public organization that has embraced the practice. Unfortunately, they didn’t do anything to protect the children that visit the library by allowing “Tatiana Mala Nina” to read for the children. The problem arose because”Tatiana” is actually Alberto Garza, a 32-year-old child sex offender.

My Take

Houston Public Library has apologized. Is that really enough? Mistakes happen, but there are certain situations and jobs in which extra special care must be taken. Our public libraries, which are often considered to be truly safe places and popular venues for children to learn, should be able to give a reasonable expectation to parents that registered child sex offenders are not given explicit access to children.

This is gross negligence. I may be in the minority on this one, but this is a terminable offense in my books. Someone’s head should roll.

Keep in mind I rarely call for anyone to be fired for a single offense, but this is literally the worst case scenario for a library administrator. When you give someone access to the children that come to the library, they cannot be convicted child sex offenders. That’s sort of a no-brainer.

Nothing will likely happen beyond the apology, but here’s hoping.

So many exceptions are made for “alternative lifestyles” for the sake of tolerance. But when this tolerance allows a convicted child sex offender to have access to small children, the exceptions have gone way to far. This is absolutely unacceptable.

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