A Happily Married Reader Says Guzzardi Is Wrong About the  Fiancée Visa
February 28, 2006, 04:00 AM
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From: Sarah

Re: Joe Guzzardi`s Columns: Fiancée Visa Means Unhappy Valentine`s Day and The Fiancée Visa Racket

I read Guzzardi`s articles on fiancée visas and other immigration issues. 

While I agree with some of his positions on immigration, I think that he is grossly misinformed about visa abuse.  The actual statistics regarding fraudulent marriages are quite low. 

Many people who meet and have real, lasting relationships are able to use the fiancée visa process to bring their future husband/wife to this country without waiting 2-3 years.  I brought my fiancée here with a visa 4 years ago and we are still happily married.  I know dozens and dozens of happily married couples who have used the fiancée visa process. 

There are people who abuse the system and cases like that of Guzzardi`s student do happen.  That reflects the desperation that many people feel to leave the poverty of their home countries.  It also proves the unfortunate reality that many men shopping for foreign brides are ill prepared for the reality of marriage and the challenges of having a foreign spouse. 

I don`t think that the solution is to eradicate fiancée visas.  Probably more attention needs to be given to the length of the relationship that I think is one of the best indications of overall intention.  The ability to know another person and commit to a long-term relationship is most likely not established by a 2-3 month engagement, online dating, or a 5 day-in person meeting.  Also, stricter screening of serial petitioners is needed.

With the global nature of business and professional associations, overseas education, and the ease of travel, more and more people are interacting with foreign citizens.  This interaction can lead to marriages between Americans and foreign residents.

I also think Guzzardi underestimates the ease of obtaining the fiancée visa.  There is more burden than simply petitioning and being approved. 

Some leave behind their family, friends, job, and entire ways of life. For them, the fiancée visa is a sacrifice that they make for their future spouse. 

The real problem with immigration is and always has been illegal immigration.  First, illegal immigration causes a variety of problems in the economy, with illegal immigrants sending billions of dollars back to Mexico, central, and South America each year. 

Additionally, illegal immigration causes stiffer and more stringent laws regulating legal immigration to be passed and applied. Moreover, our immigration laws exclude thousands of people who would come to this country and make wonderful citizens.  The harder it becomes to immigrate legally to this country, the more likely people are to try to cheat the system and to abuse our laws. 

I don`t believe in opening the borders.  In fact, I think that we should erect a giant wall between the U.S. and Mexico. 

What I do believe is that people have a right to be with their families.  US citizens should not be forced to many years to be reunited with their parents or siblings.