We all know the inflexibility of America's immigration policies. Those ambitious enough to break through America's considerable rampart usually have to enlist a company's support and then have their employer beg the U.S. government for a green card. Or, of course, they can try to break through another rampart; specifically, your pants. Let's say your Uzbek drummer boyfriend — a true keeper due to his "ability to multitask with every limb and [his] mind" — is having trouble getting a job at Merrill Lynch because his Uzbek is better than his English, and, duh, Merrill Lynch already has a resident drummer. Either you marry him and grant him access to our compassionate utopia, or you'll see him next time his band goes on tour.

So yesterday on Nerve Dating, we were curious to see how far you'd go to keep your foreign flame Stateside. We asked if you'd ever marry someone for their citizenship, and the answers were surprisingly definitive. 53% of Nerve members were anti, saying they "take marriage more seriously than that." (I'm hearing the sounds of poor Uktam's cymbals clanging as he loads them onto the plane.)

29% said "maybe, but I'd have to be in love," with one of these levelheaded types noting pragmatically that "the tax break isn't as good as people claim it is." Finally, a mere 18% said "Yes — it's just a formality." So for a small group, love or at least the possibility of love know no borders. (Take that, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.) And if you want to meet the adorably accented percussionist of your dreams, head over to Nerve Dating.

Commentarium (5 Comments)

Mar 13 12 - 2:35pm

I'm not sure, but I think marrying my wife does make it easier for her to get citizenship, though she already had the Green Card when I met her. But of course that's not why we got married; we got married to save $500 a month on health insurance.

Mar 13 12 - 6:19pm
deserves climits

"We all know the inflexibility of America's immigration policies."

Not sure what you mean here... I know nothing of the sort, and anyone who comes here illegally (to get around your so-called "inflexibilities") is a criminal.

We have too many people here already, and we're having serious problems supporting them all. It's perfectly rational to place limits on who and how many can come in, and it's also A-OK to shut it down entirely for a while.

Mar 13 12 - 9:21pm

Perhaps you "know nothing of the sort" because you haven't bothered to comb through the Immigration and Naturalization Act? It's rivalled in complexity only by the tax code. US immigration law is administered by underfunded bureaucracies in overseen by three different departments. Now in it's defense, despite its complexity and problems, the US still has one of the most liberal immigration policies in the world, but the system as it exists is far from ideal.

As far as the "all undocumented immigrants are criminals" argument, I would remind you that the vast majority of immigration violations are civil matters, not criminal ones.

"A-OK to shut it down entirely for a while." OK if you are totally fine with exacerbating the backlog problem. Those who apply to immigrate lawfully face a backlog that is years long (over a decade for some categories), unless they are a spouse or minor child of a US citizen. If you're a green card holder sponsoring a family member, l or a US citizen sponsoring your adult child, let's just say I hope you guys have Skype. Even employment based visas can take a couple of years.

Mar 13 12 - 9:41pm
imm law student

Don't do it. ICE is no joke, and marriage for immigration purposes is treated very seriously.

Mar 20 12 - 8:18pm

My girlfriend is French, born outside Paris and moved to the US (more accurately, ran away from home) on a student visa in the early 2000s. Jokingly, she told me on our first date that her green card was current and she didn't need one (or particularly want full citizenship); the ball-busting and jokes about her wanting to marry me for citizenship have actually made her feel really bad. People have no problem joking about this issue, despite the fact that it's obviously not what's going on.

We've been together for a year and a half, and have been seriously talking marriage. For no other reason than we're nuts about each other and it just gets better with time. Not because she wants to be a citizen.