Coming to America has gone far beyond fairytales of African prince traveling to America in search of his future wife. In fact, for Africans seeking to emigrate from their native land, coming to America is purely the only motive. Though by what means?
It remains no surprise obtaining a visa has become a goal of extreme difficulty and frustration for multiple years. Older immigrants argue that difficulties emerged soon after their immigrating to America from Africa during a heightened period of rapid emigration in the late 70’s, early 80’s; and since then, things have only gotten progressively worse. Applicants are consistently being denied visas, while waiting list hopefuls who once had anticipation are left with doubt. Reasonably, many seek alternative strategies after being denied even temporary entry and apply for visas such as H1B visas (work visas), and student visas. As expected, those attempts too go unrewarded, though when all else fails at least the men generally seem to have a common plan.
Like many immigrants, we can affirm that our African countrymen’s primary desire for immigrating to the states are to support the lives of their family and self, eager to move from a developing society of unpromising pace, onto one where ambitions are realistic to the new environment in which they seek to live.
I can remember tales repeatedly told to me from years ago by aunts, cousins, and both parents warning me the negative possibilities of becoming involved with a man who has no green card being that I have citizenship. Stories began by explaining why the marriage of one of my relative’s wasn’t a success and further mentioning that the man who married my cousin had greedy motives of coming to the country, using her simply to gain American citizenship. After all, marrying a citizen is how to become a citizen too.
For many African women its custom they visit home annually whether it be Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, and wherever else. For such frequent travels it’s often common to meet a man and eventually grow interested in him. He says all the right words, and promises all these wonderful things that would naturally make her comfortable and convinced to believe that she’s safe with him. However, many are familiar with how that story may end. The relationship takes a sudden turn once vows stating, “Do you take this women to be your lawful wedded wife, to love and to hold, in sickness and in health, for rich or for poor, ‘till death do you part?” You can bet there would be absolute compliance and “I Do’s” coming from both parties. Though his mischievous interpretation for the final part of the vow is, ‘till citizenship do us part, abruptly parting ways from his new wife after being granted U.S. citizenship, ready to explore the freedoms and opportunities of America.
Judgments from outsiders with an opinion on the matter have split viewpoints. Do you blame the man for misleading the women into deep feelings, deceiving her for one motive only, or find sympathy in his desperation?
On the flipside, there continues to be individuals in different positions; where men, even women agree to marry the opposite sex to help friends become U.S. citizens also, while others engage in fraudulent marriage for financial rewards. Not to count out the countless cases where true love proves to be the foundation between two persons and thus successful marriages. Unfortunately when being deceived throughout the entire relationship for a green card, the only outcome is distress; leaving lives forever changed and abandoned partners scorned.
I guess it’s up to the person to decide how genuine the relationship is; otherwise, they’ll end up being that person, scorned.
By: Ashley I. Okonkwo
Photo Credit: http://www.life.com/image/83564289