Child marriage is the enemy of the American Dream


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The Associated Press reported recently that over the past 10 years, thousands of requests have been approved from men who sought to bring child brides into America through the immigration system. The data the article includes also shows that some child brides who come to America for asylum end up being forced into bringing over their older, abusive spouses by their families, and little is done to stop this cycle. 

Oddly enough, in the midst of all the controversy over immigration issues, this topic is rarely discussed.

Americans have shown in droves that they care about their jobs, financial stability and the opioid crisis. We have seen ample examples that they care about the connections or perceived connections between these topics and immigration. But, somehow, we are not outraged over the perpetualization of child prostitution under the facade of marriage.

One example the AP used was of Naila Amin, a Pakistani New Yorker who was betrothed at age 8 and married against her will at 13. After a lifestyle of sexual assault and beatings, she became a mere passport for her older husband after her family forced her to request his immigration approval.

This is the real problem our congresspersons need to look into. We must ensure that the people who actually need asylum can obtain it and find freedom from the parents who would basically force their daughters into a life of sex slavery. From the husbands three times their age. This can only be obtained if we pass laws that forbid child marriages.

The AP reported, “Marriage between adults and minors is not uncommon in the U.S., and most states allow children to marry with some restrictions.” These restrictions may include parental signatures. This is not much of a check on abuse, though, since the cases the AP reported on include examples of parents who forced their children into these marriages thanks to certain religious beliefs. 

For the good of U.S.-born Americans and Americans to be, we must crack down on the complacent marriage rules in this country. Until we recognize that only adults can make the life-changing decision to marry, we as a country are inadvertently supporting human trafficking and denying girls the chance to grow up into healthy, well-adjusted women.