The scourge of green card marriages

By Nora P. Goodman

Morocco World News

Portland, Oregon, April 13, 2013

He came from Morocco to the USA on the Lottery in 2011. He had only been here three months and was looking for every opportunity to find work. Khalid and I met on Facebook. He had seen that I visited Morocco several times and he needed a friend that he could relate to. He was in California and I was in Portland Oregon. He couldn’t wait to come and visit me. I welcomed him on an October day in 2011. It was his first trip anywhere else besides California in the USA. I showed him many tourist areas in Oregon and he loved it.

The day before he went back to California he shared his life with me in Morocco about how hard it was for him and his family to make a living there. He stood across my kitchen counter and said “If I hadn’t of gotten the lottery I would have married and old women to get to the USA” and he was serious. That was a year and a half ago, since then Khalid has a better job and attends college in California. He also makes enough money to live on his own and send money back to his family in Morocco. Not everyone is as fortunate as Khalid.

Before I met Khalid I thought it was horrible that so many Moroccan men used older women by marrying them to get to the USA and soon after they got their green card or citizenship they divorced. I have seen marry heartaches and devastated lives. But that day in my kitchen with Khalid changed my perspective a little. I understand how desperate people can do practically anything to better their lives and the lives of their family.


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