Dear Stavroula

Dear Stavroula, You Did Not Answer Martha’s Problem Correctly

Dear Stavroula,

I’m sorry to say this, but in the case of Martha who is afraid that her son’s girlfriend wants to marry him to do her paperwork, you did not answer correctly. In this case, the mother is right, and the first thing you should have been advising her son and girlfriend is to go to a good immigration lawyer to figure out exactly where they stand before taking another step. There are many good lawyers in this country and if they need help finding someone they can go to http://aila.org/ to find someone.

You should have considered that the girl was probably violating the type of visa she had just by working. So you have someone who comes to the country with a tourist visa and works. This is the first thing you should worry about. Then, the son who, as his mother says, is naive, how will he prove to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that he can support a family financially? If he is studying and working, he probably has a part-time job providing him with a limited income. Thirdly, this girlfriend stuck to him from the beginning and this is a typical practice for those who are trying to get their papers through marriage. Finally, do you know if the son has met the girl’s parents? Very doubtful. All of the above makes me believe that the son will make a big mistake if he marries this girl, both legally and personally. That is why I would say that you MUST advise the mother to intervene and prevent this marriage. I have personal experience of what it means to be a young man in a green card wedding and I know well who pays the price in a dysfunctional family. The children.



Dear Angelo,

Thank you very much for your answer to Martha’s question and for all these very important things that you have pointed out. Certainly, the couple meeting with a lawyer dealing with immigration issues is very important and it was an omission that I did not recommend it. The truth is that it never crossed my mind that the girl might be here or working illegally. From Martha’s letter, it didn’t seem like that to me and I got the impression that the girl is a student completing her studies or that she has a special visa that is ending. Of course, there was no way I would ever recommend that someone stay here illegally or enter into a false married, and if you look at my previous answers you will find that out, too.

For me, there was no indication that this was not true love, and I encountered the problem in this light. Two young people in love, a young man in a hurry to marry to keep his beloved near him, and an overprotective mother who wants to make decisions for her son. My position is to help people who ask me to think more broadly about the problem that concerns them and not to impose a view on them. I could never advise a mother of an adult man to prevent him from doing anything he has decided.

However, I find your post relevant to the topic and publish it here. I hope Martha reads it and advises the couple to visit a good lawyer. I do not stay in contact with people who send me their questions, I never keep their email or their message, and I fully respect their desire to remain anonymous. That’s why I do not contact them again. This is also the purpose of the column, to provide anonymous and confidential assistance. That’s why anyone who trusts me can be sure that none of their personal information is shared.


Dear Stavroula,   I am married with three children.

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