The Boston Globe has a story today about a women, Maria-Helena Knoller, who was playing matchmaker, but was taking it to a whole new level:
Knoller, it turned out, was a matchmaker of a special kind. For fees as high as $12,000, she would pair illegal immigrants from Brazil with Americans, arrange their marriages - and, in some cases, their subsequent divorces - after they received status as “lawful permanent residents’’ of the United States.
Of course, this is absolutely ridiculous. I realize people will do anything to make money, but to bend the system, but this scheme? It's ridiculous. The data doesn't lie:
The US government estimates that of the 200,000 marriages that result in temporary or illegal immigrants receiving green cards each year, up to 30 percent are shams. And yet, while billions of federal dollars are devoted to protecting borders, enforcement efforts aimed at immigration fraud are hobbled by sparse budgets and understaffed agencies that, according to government auditors, allow an estimated 60,000 sham marriages a year to evade detection.
The numbers don't shock me, but what would, if I could get my hands on it, would be the actual costs these sham weddings end up costing tax payers.