Jan 11, 2019

U.S. approved thousands of petitions to bring in child brides

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approved more than 8,000 visa requests involving minors married to or engaged to significantly older spouses in the past decade, according to data obtained by the AP.

Why it matters: There is no minimum age requirement to qualify for the fiancé or spouse visa. Marriages between minors and adults are not uncommon in the U.S. or elsewhere, but the data raises the question of whether immigration laws could exacerbate the issue of forced marriage.

  • It is unknown how many of the petitions were ultimately granted by the State Department, but only 2.6% of spousal or fiancé claims are rejected.
  • The majority of the minors involved in the petitions were 17 years old, and most of the petitioning adults were 20 years old. But in one case, a 49-year-old man petitioned for a 15-year-old girl and in another a 71-year-old petitioned for a 17 year-old, according to AP.

The bottom line: “People die to come to America,” said Naila Amin, a dual citizen from Pakistan who was forcibly married at 13 years old and applied for her husband's visa. “I was a passport to him. They all wanted him here, and that was the way to do it.”

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Trump: "This is going to be a very painful two weeks"

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 850,583 — Total deaths: 41,654 — Total recoveries: 176,714.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 184,183 — Total deaths: 3,721 — Total recoveries: 6,043.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Paying rent in a pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For many people who've lost jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic, tomorrow presents a stressful decision: Do you pay your rent or mortgage?

Why it matters: The new CARES Act that was signed by President Trump on Friday protects homeowners and renters who are suffering from the response to the coronavirus pandemic — but it's not “a one-size-fits-all policy rulebook,” a congressional aide tells Axios.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health