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How to intentionally get denied entry into the United States? (stackexchange.com)
175 points by nsaparanoid on Feb 27, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 165 comments



I fear this will get a lot of "Just say no" comments from people that don't understand that the author is from Pakistan and most likely grew up in a completely different culture than most of us are used to.

And it seems like she's not villing/able to cut of contact with her family as I would maybe do if I were in her place, but I'll never be so it's hard to even imagine what I'd do.


From [1]:

I have said "No" but being a Pakistani girl there's nothing I can do. I was even forced to marry that guy who is 15 years older than me. And I would say goodbye to everything but I have to wait for the right time. I'm being mean though, I need my family right now to support me until I finish my school. And then it will be up to me. I know I sound selfish but it's nothing compared to what they've done to me and my life

[1]: https://travel.stackexchange.com/a/24553


Even though this advice isn't something she might consider in her current situation, it might be good for her to hear it. After all, she's basically a hostage in this situation, and hearing people confirm this might prevent her from getting stuck in a "Stockholm syndrome". And frankly, I think her best move in this situation would be to say no and find refuge for herself. Yes, family members might get seriously injured as a result, but the way I see it there is no other way of breaking free from such an oppressive culture. Everything is set up to lure you back.


Seriously? You know she can die for doing this? Honor killings are real for women not obeying her family, especially in matters of sex and marriage.

Sandeela Kanwal - killed by her parents for trying to leave her arranged marriage.

Noor Almaleki - murdered by her parents for (among other things) shunning arranged marriage. The other things were trying to be too western, like wanting to have the privilege of driving a car.

Those are the ones that just took place in the US lately.

You have no idea what is is like to be in her situation!!


In the article she said that she was worried that even if she escaped her mother or sister could be hurt. While the local law enforcement should protect her if her husband is abusive, there is nothing they can do about threats in a foreign land.


No, I have no idea what it's like. But I can imagine that it's quite similar to being held hostage. Running away as a hostage might also get you shot. But that doesn't mean you should stay with your oppressors.


You are forgetting that she is in college, and desires to continue to do so.

Overtly saying no will most likely result in family or friends of family going after her in Spain. Once you enter the Shengen area of Europe, which is reachable by car from Pakistan you can basically get anywhere. There are countless easily traversed borders to this area in corrupt/poorer countries. After that there's close to no border checks.

It is really easy for friends/family to get to Spain and make her life difficult there.


Living in The Netherlands it's easy to forget that these countries are not actually separated from Europe in any way. The distance between Amsterdam and Pakistan is comparable (a bit longer) to the distance between L.A. and New York.

A cool story that was recently in the Dutch news reduces that perceived distance, when an independent car rental business owner pursues and retrieves one of his cars all the way in Iraq:

http://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_...

The thieves just rented a car, and drove there. Possibly to fight Jihad.


Pakistan is much farther away than you think it is. http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=AMS-KHI,+JFK-LAX


Hmm that's weird, I measured by going to google maps, spreading my fingers between Amsterdam and Pakistan. I then scrolled to the U.S. while holding my fingers in that position, and the distance difference was like ~20%, according to your flightplan it's almost twice as far though. Not sure what went wrong there :)

edit: using http://www.freemaptools.com/how-far-is-it-between.htm I find 5600km for Amsterdam -> Islamabad, and 3900km from LA -> NY. So I was 40% off :P


You are measure a 3d projection on a 2d plane. There has to be distortion somewhere. Most likely they use the mercator projection which has places further from the equator appear bigger than the ones near the equator.


>Not sure what went wrong there :)

Google Maps uses a modified Mercator projection, which distorts distances.


The old Google Maps had/has a real distance measurement tool. Shame that the new doesn't, at least not yet.


Also keep in mind that in most of the world, familial ties are much stronger than in the US.

I am not in the "just say no" category. Instead I am in the "just say yes" category. Then go off, run away, sue for divorce, and then decide what to do. If she can safely return home, do it. If not, then there is the asylum process. Being in the US may provide many more options than being in Pakistan would in this regard.

I say this being conscious that this is a specific situation and the individual involved will have to make the decisions for herself. I also say this as someone who is probably reasonably well known here as reasonably critical of American individualism, but there are times when it can be handy and this might be one.


Yeah, she even said that she has family working at JFK that can check up on things and report if she doesn't show.

I get it, on technical things, you can be 100% correct in telling someone "no, what you're attempting is just wrong, and this approach works better". On issues of life, with adults, it might be nice to remind people of other options. It's just silly though to insist that the person hasn't thought of their position and didn't come up with the idea of "oh I should just call the cops".

It's like someone says "how can I hide that I'm a heroin addict at work; I can't lose my job right now" and the reply is just "stop using drugs". Wow, that's helpful.


Plus she says deporting the husband did not work and her relatives are apparently working on JFK. What a mix.


One of the "just say no" sayer here. I do understand, that the author is from Pakistan and currently studying in Spain. But, even though I think family is important, sometimes you have to value your own will over that of the family, no matter the cost. My father lost almost all of his friends, decades of relations, and didn't had contact with his family for years, because he decided to leave the "sect" and marry a woman from Finland whom he loved instead of the 2nd degree cousin the family has designated for him. This was in Christian Switzerland not Pakistan, but still a lot of pressure to handle.


See the "I don't want my family to get in trouble, they're gonna kill me if they find out that I did something at the airport.” comment later? Think it’s a hyperbole? Well, it’s not.


The original question mentioned, that she didn't want to live with her stupid in-laws and husband, as well as vague family issues.

I don't jump to conclusions, that just because she is Pakistani and has a family that likes to push her around, that they're bloodthirstily maniacs.

The comment about getting herself killed, was about what happens, if she gets her family in trouble, not if she just left them. As I understand, she plans to cut ties to her family as soon as she's financially independent. Therefore I think she isn't afraid to get killed if she doesn't go to the US, but that her family stops supporting her.

She lives in Spain, not in Pakistan. Which doesn't make honor killings impossible, but I guess, she is in a somewhat better protected situation and has ways to make herself heard by authorities.


You should read more than a headline. She explicitly says that her mother and sister live in Pakistan. I'm being a bit harsh here, but in this case being quick to comment on the issue without reading through the entire thread can actually be damaging. Also, "trouble" also means dishonor in this case.

Even her language in the original post was pretty clear (though only if you've ever read about such cases before, I admit, so I don't blame you for not reading it that way - 10 years ago I probably wouldn't notice either) - the vagueness there is actually a defensive strategy, and possibly one more terrifying consequence of such cases. This really is a slow-release horror case.


EDIT: Big correction

Sorry, it's clearly my fault. Although I thought I read through the whole thread, I somehow managed to miss her already existing answers, that her mother and sister could get in trouble in Pakistan, and that she already called homeland security to get her husband deported. Which voids most of my prior reasoning.

---

old answer:

I partially agree, I should have waited longer. I actually read through the information, that was available at that time (on Stack Exchange, not HN). Otherwise, I wouldn't have posted my comment.

That "trouble", was in my opinion a response to suggestions to get her husband deported, who is overstaying in the US. But as I read it again, it may as well mean if they found out she tricked them to believe she got denied from immigrations.

Still, I'm under the impression, that her main concern with not complying is, that the family would no longer support her financially in Spain, than actually harm her:

"And I would say goodbye to everything but I have to wait for the right time. I'm being mean though, I need my family right now to support me until I finish my school. And then it will be up to me."

I might be ignorant, but as a double citizen with very few full citizens within my circle of friends, I try to rule out social and cultural background as far as feasible, because the way negative as well as positive prejudices influence reasoning.

That being said, I still think, if its possible for her to get help from human right groups and or government, she should just say no and abandon the family. Maybe move to another country in the Schengen area. The self-deportation scheme might buy her some time, but the story will repeat.

I'm aware, that it's easy for me to say, since I'm not affected. But if been around people who have been in similar or worse situations. That's why I care about this topic and why I commented.

She is currently in Spain, studies and has a Job, which gives her a more promising initial position, than way too many other women on this planet. I really hope she gets out of this hell soon.


It sounds like she's worried about practicalities too, though, not only relationship with family. She indicated she's willing to cut ties after she finishes school, but they're currently financially supporting her studies. If she graduates from a university in Spain she has a much better chance of getting a job & work permit to stay in Europe.

It's possible she could stay in Spain even if they cut off support, but it's not anything like a guarantee. Officially the default in most European countries is that if you're on a student visa and no longer have the ability to study full-time and support yourself, you get deported. It might be possible to support oneself on part-time jobs, though youth unemployment is very high in Spain currently even among Spaniards. It might be possible to claim asylum, but that is not easy either (Spain grants asylum rarely, <250 people/yr typically). Not sure what the right answer is.


Yes, I understand now that the main issue seems to be, that the family pays her studies in Spain. This really is a though call. Even if Spain would grant asylum, I guess that would be the end of her studies for quite a while.


Christian Switzerland doesn't have a history of honor killings.


Well, not a recent one.

Basically, Western society got this crap out of the way a few hundred years ago. We still have "slut shaming" and other milder vestiges.


The fear of getting killed, as she commented, was about what happens if she gets her family in trouble, not if she just said no. See my earlier answer to LaGrange.


"because he decided to leave the "sect" and marry a woman from Finland whom he loved instead of the 2nd degree cousin the family has designated for him"

Wow, now you owe us a story describing which community in Switzerland does things like this.


Sorry, I might have simplified too much and "designated" is probably the wrong english word.

They wouldn't have forced him to marry a cousin, rather strongly proposed it. Nevertheless, it was clearly expected from him, that he'd stick within this small community.

So the choice left was, to do what he wanted and lose almost everything except his education, or comply.

This was around 35 years ago in rural Zürich. A stronghold of religion and patriarchy you could say. Things changed a lot since then. E.G televisions aren't products of the devil himself anymore, so community members no longer have to hide them in tv-cabinets etc. I actually don't remember how they call themselves and never really cared. It was a subgroup of another subgroup, I believe.


"televisions aren't products of the devil himself anymore"

The scary thing is, today they are (in some parts of the world).

I turn on the TV something like once a month and it feels like a portal to Hell has suddently opened in my living room.


Haha, true:) Fun thing is for me, I'm properly the most irreligious person in the whole family, but also the only one who doesn't own a tv.


More specifically, she still expects her family to support her financially, so she can't say "no".


That sounds like the real problem to me.

I know I'll come off as a culturally-insensitive douchebag for saying this, but the fact that somebody isn't used to saying "no", or even being able to say "no", doesn't mean that it isn't the best option. That's not to say that it is the best option here (like most, I'm not terribly familiar with the person's particular situation), but I think that "I'm not used to doing X" isn't a great reason to not do X.

EDIT: Apparently this person fears for their life if they disobey their family's wishes? That's god-damned barbaric.


Actually there are plenty of cases of honor killings even in the civilized world. Not necessarily in this case.


Do you mind providing me with some examples of civilized honor killings?



Families are MUCH closer in Pakistan and the rest of the Middle East than they are in the western world. Doing things against the families will can get you in big trouble and leave you without your family at all. The main difference between the Middle East and the West is: in the west, you grow up and you are taught by your parents how to stay on your own. That is why Westerners often only see their parents and brothers and sisters occasionally. In the Middle East, you grow up to be a good part of the family for the rest of your life. As I married a girl from the Middle East I had to learn and feel the differences and resulting occasional tensions. So to say it short: you normally are not supposed to leave your family in Pakistan. So this girl feels she is in great trouble, even if the solution may seem so simple for us.


Pakistan is not a Middle Eastern country


Yeah and my dad (Brazilian) is fond of saying that Brazil is not a Latin American country because of language and cultural divide between Spanish vs Portuguese colonies.

Fine, both of those are valid beliefs. But you shouldn't feel the need to inject them as a tangent in random conversations to educate people. You will never ever win this battle.


But Pakistan is not a Middle Eastern country. It's not a belief, it's a fact. I think he was right to point that out.


Names are human constructs not facts.


>The first official use of the term "Middle East" by the United States government was in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles defined the Middle East as "the area lying between and including Libya on the west and Pakistan on the east, Syria and Iraq on the North and the Arabian peninsula to the south, plus the Sudan and Ethiopia."

Pakistan is on the edge, including or excluding it's more of an opinion thing.


It depends on what you mean though. If you include the Islamic Indo-Iranian states, Pakistan is. If you exclude them, Iran and Afghanistan are not.

Maybe the right answer is "the Middle East is a spherical cow anyway."


That's what happens when you try to draw lines in sand...


Pakistan is about as Middle Eastern as Iran is.....


Pakistan wants to be a Middle Eastern country.


This doesn't sound like a great idea. A friend of mine with an Indian passport and a valid UK work visa was visiting Northern Ireland and decided to try to sneak a quick bus trip into Republic of Ireland. Their bus was randomly stopped and everyone's passports were checked (these are pretty infrequent, I believe), the police quickly noticed they didn't have a valid visa for Ireland, took their details and then took them back to the North. Later that year he had a bit of trouble visiting mainland EU, the immigration officials cited his previous attempt to illegally enter Ireland - evidently it had been logged in some EU immigration database and can follow you around for a while.

And this is just Ireland, I imagine the repercussions of getting denied from the US are a little more severe.


Being denied entry isn't illegal, and isn't necessarily going to adversely affect future entry attempts. Overstaying your visa, or illegally entering a country on the other hand is a crime. If you have committed crimes in a country, you will have a harder time getting in next time.


Overstaying your visa is not a crime. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains only civil penalties for an immigrant who overstays her visa. This means that immigrants with an expired visa will not be charged criminally or serve time in jail.

Entering country illegally however IS a crime.


careful: there's a difference to point out here - Visas are for entering/exiting the country and are the stamps on the passport. Then you can stay as long as you have your residence permit.

Example:

    #when you enter the country you get 
    DS2019: 1yr #residence permit
    Visa: 1yr   # from when you enter the country
    until you leave the country:
      if your contract get renewed (DS2019++)
      else illegal
the visa in your passport is worth nothing when inside the US. the fact that the two are confused might be very misleading.


Ireland is a member state of EU. It's understandable how that can affect EU's view on you. I don't know what US could affect. Perhaps some country that US invaded and is in control off?


You don't think the EU and the US share information here?


I was confused at first, then I remembered UK is not a Schengen member - if you get a UK visa, it's for the UK only; if you get a visa for any other EU country, you can go wherever you want in the EU, except the UK. Weird situation :-)


There's exceptions in the other direction as well: Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland aren't EU members, but Schengen visas are valid there.


Ireland has opted out too. UK and Ireland are part of a "Common Travel Area" (a region that doesn't require passports to travel within, and which includes other islands in the British Isles), but aren't in Schengen.


I presume this was many years ago. There aren't any border checks I know of between the North and South or Ireland these days. I take the bus and train to Dublin all the time and drive there quite often and have not seen a checkpoint since the 90's.


The only bus I ever took from Dublin to Belfast and back was boarded by immigration and our papers checked.

This was 2006.


That's very strange. According to wikipedia: "There are no longer any operational customs posts along either side of the border."[1] The last check I remember was in the 90's and I don't think it was a customs check, it was a military checkpoint.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Ireland–United_King...


It may have been them looking for someone specific - it was the middle of the night, and the Garda aren't exactly the most talkative of government agencies.


Does Spain have an equivalent to the UK government's "forced marriage unit" ( https://www.gov.uk/forced-marriage ), an agency whose job is to help people in this kind of situation?


Looking closer — I think no?. Some of the European countries which criminalize forced marriage, according to this June 2012 survey ( https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachm... ), include: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, and Germany.

In Austria: "Forcing someone into marriage is a distinct criminal offence in Austria. Austrians and people living in Austria are facing legal consequences for such actions only if this kind of marriage occurs within the country’s borders. From January 2012 the Federal Government has amended the anti-forced marriage law to allow prosecutors to press charges against perpetrators over forced marriages abroad.

In Belgium: "Forcing someone to marry is a criminal offence."

In Cyprus: "Forcing someone to marry is a criminal offence."

In Denmark: "The Danish Criminal Code includes an offence of unlawful coercion, prohibiting the use of threats by a person to force another person to do something against their will. This offence would apply to marriage if threats were used to force a person into marriage against their will. The penalty for this offence ranges from a fine to a period of imprisonment not exceeding two years."

In Germany: "Forcing someone to marry is a distinct criminal offence and can be punished by up to five years in prison. The law also gives non-German citizens who are forced by their husbands/families to leave the country after their marriage a legal right to return to Germany. "

I don't know what I'd do in this situation — I'm not even sure I can understand what it's like. But with a Schengen visa and Spanish residency, one option might be to move to Germany and seek protection from the government there. This is a tough situation for people to be in.


If she's coming over to live, then she should be denied entry anyways. Perhaps just stay straight-out "I'm moving here." Maybe throw in something about maybe getting a job "To have more money for our family." Neither of those are total lies, but any CBP agent that's not asleep should block entry. She might even just tell them the situation, ask to see a supervisor and go from there. They may be able to provide something better on her record that way.

Although it can really depend on who she gets. My wife came over to see me after I moved to the US after just losing our daughter. She had a 10-year multi-entry visa, had come and gone several times before. They held her for a couple of hours, went through all her stuff (which is to be expected), but then demanded to know why she was sad about losing a child, why she had written about her child if she had died, and on and on. My wife decided she'll never fly through the US again.

Once I got an agent, first thing out of his mouth was "you're going to miss your flight". When I said he didn't know when it was (I had a 3 hour layover), he said it didn't matter, he'd make sure. Other times, they barely even glance up and wave me through.


> When I said he didn't know when it was (I had a 3 hour layover), he said it didn't matter, he'd make sure.

Why did (s)he do that? Did you miss your flight?


Every now and then, I get a CBP agent that is having a bad day. Most of the time they are professional, polite, and efficient enough. This guy went on about all sorts of things, including stating that attending a tradeshow required a work visa.

I didn't miss my flight because I had a long layover. He took my passport and sent me to secondary control. Upon admittance, one of the agents there rolled his eyes and speedily got me taken care of and on my way. He did succeed at wasting 40 minutes of my time though.


I think this will work:

- "What's the purpose of your visit?" - "I will be looking for a job in the U.S." - "But you have a visitor's VISA here" - "Oh.. mmm.. but I am coming here to work" - "I am sorry this is not going to work out"


Or, rather than lying to the border agent (which I believe is a crime in the US, isn't it?), she could simply tell the truth: that she's visiting her husband and that she'll most likely be coerced to overstay her visa.

That should get her entry denied too.


Precisely. Not sure if it is a crime or not (probably!), but lying is never a good idea, specially to an immigration agent.

Just telling the truth should suffice. The only issue is if it will cause trouble later on should she try to enter again. I assume it would.

EDIT: There is probably a 'alien will probably overstay' flag somewhere. Not a 'alien will overstay provided she is still married to an out of status alien'.


This seems a quite sane and simple answer.


It's a pity I can't answer on the SE but I have experience in this matter, I came to the US (through Newark) once with a visa to stay for 6 months, without proof of financial support, without contact information for somebody in the US, reluctance to tell my purpose, and a tent as my means of accommodation. I was taken to a back room where they were going to deny me entry, but I manage to persuade them that I had an uncle living in Texas and a friend in Oregon.

So my advice is, go there without money, accommodation, contacts or purpose, and they won't let you in.


Hacker News is very qualified to give this person technical advice, but her problem originates in human relationships, and the solution requires some amount of diplomacy.

Everything we say on this matter is useless until confirmed by an outside party not afflicted by an ultrarational engineer brain. That said...

In recent years, the US government has ramped up its training for federal employees on recognizing and interdicting human trafficking. It might suffice to tell the border agent, "I have been subjected to a forced marriage, and the man's family is attempting to import me to the United States against my will. Once here, I will be little more than a slave. But if I refuse, I will probably be murdered. Will you help me?"

This is likely to make a bad situation worse, but that's the best I can come up with. The lady is probably better off traveling to a Germanic or Scandinavian country and appealing to a feminist organization instead of getting on a plane to the US.


Go to the Spanish authorities, tell them the situation (illegally living in the USA) and that you fear for your life and need asylum in Spain.

F*ck the sort of family that marries you to someone 15 years older against your will, frankly.


Would forced marriage be okay if the age difference was smaller?


I think the traditional solution is to go say yes, move in. Start breaking things (dishes and stuff) until he asks for a divorce. Bonus points for making it plausibly an accident. Go home. At least that is what I have read about Morocco where the divorce rate is relatively high.

It seems relatively common elsewhere as well, in my experience.

One of the things that is not to like (especially if you are a woman) in many Middle Eastern countries is that the household matriarch is the husband's mother and the households are patrilocal. This means that if you are a woman and you get married, you end up as a very low-status individual until your first son is married and then you have status and power to make his wife as miserable as you were.

So it isn't a good situation but one thing to keep in mind is that being in a more individualistic culture gives you options. My recommendation would not be to try to get denied entry at all but to go. Then evaluate your options, build contacts, and see what you need to do. The US culture and legal system doesn't support the same kinds of things and this can bring some power.


Easy, when asked why you are are entering the states say 'no reason' and get a 24hr to year long ban. I've tested this when my idiot friend gave that response while we were driving across the peace arch border.


Might be different if you have a Canadian passport, than if you have a Pakistani passport.


Most of suggestions people give on this problem is like this;

Problem: Site doesn't work in IE

Solution: Then don't use it.

It is not that easy.

Her problem is really complex one. As i can not answer it on site (protected question), i will try to give some ideas to her here.

She needs to somehow trick the family members and the husband in US. One solution can be getting a fake paper that wants her to give information about the people she is related in US. This can stop family members asking her to come to US, since her husband is not legally living there. But connecting this fake paper to her travel to US is little tricky. Family needs to somehow believe that it is coming from government. Maybe women rights association can help with this one, if she can reach them.

The other option can be to somehow make them believe that she took the flight but they send her back. In this case she needs to find a really good excuse that family members will believe and will not investigate further.

If you think these are reasonable ideas, please let her know on travel.stackexchange, because i can not.


"I want to start a company, employ US citizens, pay taxes, and drive GDP growth."


The officials deciding about your status most probably couldn't care less.

This is not an opinion but my experience (I tried exactly that line tough in a different country)


My advice to her: NEVER get in trouble with any country's government on purpose, completely abandon this line of thought and figure out something else. I bet she would rather live with her "stupid in-laws" than in a Federal PMITA facility.


IANAL, I doubt that the penalty for being denied entry is anal rape in a federal penitentiary. I thought the penalty was, you know, being denied entry.


One other option worth considering:

1. Loose your passport 2. Get a new passport 3. Apply for new US visa to keep parents happy 4. Get rejected at the visa office

Just avoids re-entry, and buys time may be till she is done with her college.


I am clearly not a lawyer: if you tell passport control that you lost your drugs on the plane, there will be no evidence to prosecute you, but they probably won't let you in.

More seriously, just don't get on the plane, then after a period of time contact your family and tell them you got refused entry. Spend a day or two at the airport or a nearby hotel.


No no no, please do not mention anything about drugs, you will get a lifetime ban.


Yes, but that one sure way to get denied entry.

Under Sec. 212 (8 U.S.C.1182) you are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States if you 'voluntarily admit to having committed a crime involving moral turpitude

Here's a recent story: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/White+Rock+woman+barred+fro...


I'm surprised no one came up with the "NO-FLY" list excuse. If she goes to the airport alone, that's trivial---she goes to the airport, waits an hour, comes back and says, "I was refused because I am on the US' no-fly list." The US does not confirm nor deny any name on the list, so it's hard to check.


Interesting story but I hope it doesn't spread. Would suck if her family sees this and figures out it is her.


Easiest way is to strike out your visa in your passport.


Every single piece of advice amongst the top comments over there is straight up idiotic.


An obvious answer is go to the US and sue for divorce, and return to Pakistan?


Except their marriage is probably a Pakistani one.


Question: Will Pakistan recognize the divorce as long as they were living in the US at the time? My bet would be on yes.


An Islamic marriage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_Islam) is between a man and the wali of a woman, who gives her to the husband to be his wife, NOT a contract between the two members of the marriage. A wali is a "guardian" of a women. (or really, owner)

She needs consent from her wali. Pakistan can just say "did your wali sign off on this? Nope? Well that's not a valid divorce."

There's no actual legal recourse for not accepting legal agreements made in other states. Hell, many states in the US don't recognize legal (homosexual) marriages from other states.


But Pakistan has a hybrid Islamic/British legal system. This becomes a conflict of laws question and I dont think you can simply ask "is it Islamic?"


If it's registered it should be internationally recognized in USA and thus prone to suing for divorce?


I know better than to try to give advice when I can't relate at all to her situation.

But I would just like to take this opportunity to say "fuck you" to her relatives in the United States. Economic opportunity and personal liberty are a package deal, you want one without the other and you're playing with fire.

You're guaranteed to lose, either quickly or slowly. Quickly if this young woman continues down the path she's clearly already on and calls down the weight of the state on your heads. Slowly if you win this round, only to see your grandchildren grow up fully-Americanized.


uh ok, i tell you what. i grew up in germany, i'm highly educated, i speak fluent german without accent(you know like most people that were born in the us, speak english without an accent). in fact i speak 4 languages fluent+ a little of a couple others. everyone that had to deal with me on a personal level tried to hire me at some point.

when i came back from the states i met a buttload of people that were telling me how racist the americans are. so i asked one just a few days back.

"tell me, so everyones telling me how racist they are in the south, and it's kinda true, but how do you guys treat black people over here anyway?"

you know what she answered?

"it's different"

when i entered the train station with my bike yesterday, i almost got beaten up by security guards. you know why? because i got into the train station with a bike, and well just because ... ;) and you know what the two germans did that saw that? they told me this:

"you better run away, they might come down and beat you up"

talk about opportunity. yes, germany gives you the opportunity to study. for free. in some of the best universities of the planet. but you pay the price in a different manner.

you know how much the TSA sucks? you wanna know why you don't hear about patdowns in germany? because they're not even newsworthy.

edit: people make their choices, so what the op does is up to them. i consider it a little foolish. but on other hand think about it. it doesn't seem like she wants to get banned for life. otherwise she could have just posted some stupid thing on twitter like others have done


I can second the police thing. My personal experience, as a German born Germanoid of the most German kind is that interactions with the police here are just horrible. I get selected "randomly" at every traffic stop because of my long hair, but all the short-haired people I know get pulled over maybe once in ten years.

The black thing, however, does not represent all of Germany. There are real regional differences here, mostly an east-west divide. (Not that it couldn't happen everywhere. Assholes are omnipresent, but the density varies.)

Also, younger people tend to be a lot more cosmopolitan and relaxed around fellow dwellers with "non-standard" appearance.

Edit: Another thing regarding the Bahnhof incident: The DB stormtroopers are "special" in the sense that I am actually scared of these people. Where do they even get that kind of hooligan? The regular police listens to reason and treats you with a modicum of respect, but these DB goons are basically bouncers in uniform.


In my experience, most people that were born in the U.S. speak English with an atrocious accent.


This is incredibly subjective, and I would argue altogether untrue, although that is also subjective.


There is extensive academic research showing that people's perceptions of an accent stem entirely from their perceptions of the social group who use that accent.


Goodness me! It was humor guys, and self-deprecating humor at that! I'm American. You know, inability to laugh at ourselves is another American stereotype...

"most people that were born in the us, speak english without an accent" - how can you seriously not giggle at this statement, when the "American accent" is so iconic?


Just fill out this form on entry http://www.usvisalawyers.co.uk/images/I-94form.gif with a lot of "Yes".


All her problems boil down to a lack of money. She should just take a student loan to become "financially independent". No idea if she has access to one though


No. It's not that simple.

Of course, money can solve a lot of problems, but if she openly defies and (in their eyes) dishonours her family, she can expect retaliation. And they will use the people she loves and cares about the most to get at her.


She is fully expecting to dishonor her family in the near future, just not before they have paid for her college.


And not before she's got her mom safely out of Pakistan.


Now that's a passive aggressive way to solve issues...


Active aggression from a Pakistani wife in an arranged marriage may be imprudent.


Be careful not to fall down into one of the sex slave pits that bespeckle western civilization.


Wow what trash suggestions that woman is getting. "Just report him."

What the fuck SE community? Just ruin the lives of more than one family living in the states just because this girl is too chicken to just say no - from thousands of miles away no less.


I don't understand how this is 'ruining' lives. I mean, it seems her husband's family overstayed their visa deliberately and without due process.

How is this not a warranted situation for deportation, and why should he not be deported?


I'm not going to get into immigration debate here, look it up.


I, too, am too chicken to get myself murdered.

"if I do something which brings dishonour to my family they'll kill me and my mother will get in trouble as well. I know it's hard for you to understand but this is how my culture is."


If nobody ever takes a stand then this is how it will continue as well.


I agree completely. I think a lot of people will look at the things that I say and call me an asshole for saying them, but I really think that's true. If people don't take a stand against this sort of shit, it will continue. The game keeps going because people keep playing it.


She's not chicken. Saying that is disrespectful to the culture she is coming from. She is trying to find the most diplomatic way to extricate herself from an arranged marriage without destroying her connections to her family.


Please note that when she says about different culture she doesn’t mean even she respects it, in any other way that you might „respect” a bully. It’s not about destroying her connection with family, it’s about avoiding violence against her, her mother and her sister.


Yes that was my meaning, thanks for clarifying. I'm well against arranged marriages but support whatever she needs to do to get through this diplomatically.


>Saying that is disrespectful to the culture she is coming from.

I'm getting the feeling that the culture she comes from is causing her to fear for her life because of disobedience. She may deserve respect herself, but her culture certainly doesn't.


Could not agree more. Cultural sensitivity is one thing, acceptance of this is different entirely.


Families who hold cultural values that are antipodal to our own, which tend to abhor slavery in all of its forms. If their lives are ruined, it is because they are flagrantly disobeying laws on immigration and human trafficking.

By the same argument, imprisoning the criminal mastermind of an organized crime family is also ruining the lives of more than one family. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. In the US, and in Europe, forced marriages, involuntary servitude, and other curtailments of free will and self determination are considered immoral, and in most places are also illegal. If the families wished to continue living by exclusively Pakistani cultural values, perhaps they shouldn't be trying to control women like chattel property in Spain and the US.

WTF sergiotapia?

They can avoid having their lives ruined merely by not acting like misogynist thugs amidst teeming hordes of people that believe in gender equality.


From the comments, she is a woman from Pakistan. Thought it appears she is currently studying in Spain, she would probably wind up back in Pakistan. Now I'm guessing she is from a more affluent family, but Pakistan isn't entirely known for women's rights...


She tried to get him deported.

She is studying in Spain.

She is from Pakistan where cultural norms are different.


The reason why this was asked is baffling to me.

If you don't want to go, then do not go. I assume the AP was an adult. Adults don't need to resort to tricks like trying to get rejected: adults can just reject the invite themselves.


Let's assume that the writer is in an arranged marriage that she didn't consent to (except perhaps under some duress). There have certainly been "honour killings" in the UK and I doubt that other countries have solved that problem completely. If she runs then her life may be on the line.

Under such a scenario the refusal of entry would appear to be something she can't control; plausible deniability is there at least. Thus she could avoid staying without appearing to have been disobedient, instead appearing to have been subject to the authority of the immigration control.

Now the line about having relatives at the airport makes me think this is probably a hypothetical.

How would things pan out if she simply hands herself over to the immigration officers and says that she's there under duress, that her husband is illegally resident and that he intends for her to unlawfully remain in the USA against her will? Presumably entry with intent to stay beyond the limits of one's authorisation is unlawful and would normally meet with deporting?


Exactly, if you look at one of her answers:

""" Yes they're paying for my college and I live with them. Things were going good but then marriage and US came and ruined everything. I refused to go and I was told "you have to go". And yeah it's for real, if I do something which brings dishonour to my family they'll kill me and my mother will get in trouble as well. I know it's hard for you to understand but this is how my culture is. """


She has a Pakistani family. It sounds like she's in a forced arranged marriage. This is a culture that condones murdering family members who don't obey their parents[0]. Even if her family isn't that radical, it should give you an idea of the kind of thoughts she's having.

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honour_killing_in_Pakistan "honour killings have a high level of support in Pakistan's rural society"


In some countries family-related problems can be REALLY hard to deal with, because sons and daughters (maybe even more so daughters than sons) are socially expected to obey their parents in whatever way the parents deem appropriate.

The other option is to say no and then basically the whole family may overreact and stop all relations with you (husband, brothers and sisters, parents, uncles, even the most distant of cousins). Suddenly you don't have a family anymore.

The OP on the stackexchange site might be in such a situation. In that case, lying your way out of the situation might be the lesser evil (for now).

If she has the time and means to do so getting questionable visas (from US customs point of view) might cut it. I guess if you have visas for Iran, Yemen and Somalia on your passport it would not be too hard to get rejected at the borders.


It's baffling you think this is true for everyone.


I think you need to view this from the perspective of the individual in question. She just posted this comment:

> I have said "No" but being a Pakistani girl there's nothing I can do. I was even forced to marry that guy who is 15 years older than me. And I would say goodbye to everything but I have to wait for the right time. I'm being mean though, I need my family right now to support me until I finish my school. And then it will be up to me. I know I sound selfish but it's nothing compared to what they've done to me and my life.


A lot of the world doesn't subscribe to the individual-is-always-paramount view. This situation sucks, but helping the person starts with understanding the problem.


The issue isn't that refusal would shame her, it's that refusal would shame her family, and her husband and his family. They then have to save face somehow. That's when the problems start.


Disobeying her family is an offense punishable by murder in some cultures. Don't you guys get that!!!!???? This is a cultural acceptable practice.

Women aren't "adults" in this situation. They are property of men.

In addition - she said it can get her parents (mostly mother) in trouble and probably danger. This is probably because when a women disobeys she brings shame to her entire family. Her inlaws may attack her mother for her actions.


This is where cultural gaps kicks in. She might face lots of pressure from her relatives back home if she don't pretend that she tried (I am guessing) but it's a valid possibility.


I find it quite baffling too. It seems that a majority of people trapped in these situations lack the strength to reject them and make decisions for themselves, rather than blindly follow cultural obligations.

Since the OP lives in Spain and is a Spanish resident, it's a rather reasonable guess that she's managed to to mitigate her circumstance to one that's manageable (by putting distance between her family and herself), so kudos to her, and yet she still struggles with a rejection of the invite which is quite sad.

Disclaimer: I'm a (semi?) immigrant who's lived in India for most of his life (before coming to Canada, which was heavily dissuaded by a lot of my maternal family) so I have a sense of what it's like to reject the cultural oppression that the OP seems to face.


I think part of it is they are paying for her college and living expenses.


Some people let themselves be force into things. I find it quite sad that they lack the strength to just say no.

Edit: Peer pressure is a bitch especially when it's from your own family but don't let yourself be manipulated by it.

Edit2: Some people have pointed out that it's not easy and in certain cultures be enough to kill a person.

Now it's amazing that this in this day and age that is acceptable but i guess you can get away with anything if you say the magic word: "It's my religion/culture".

However ask yourself this: I have 1 life am i willing to spend it all in a cage with some people i barely know making the rules?

If the answer is yes the the give up already you don't have a choice if the answer is no do whatever it takes.


It's not only about personal strength, no one is strong enough to change deep cultural heritage and go alone against 1000 year long culture in which woman has no say. From the comments, it's obvious it's a forced marriage and that the OP couldn't do anything about it. It's not about her husbands family, it's also her family that first "sold" or forced her to marry, and then they want her to live with that guy. Who knows, may be some blood is in danger to be spilled if she plainly refuse to go.

That all being said, I wish her good look to find a way to do it without putting herself in any kind of danger.


Why do you assume that? Just because she's from Pakistan?

Regardless my culture isn't that rosy either I just choose to reject it and was lucky that my family didn't really care.

Regardless if you're life is in danger that's the equivalent of slavery and their not your family anymore their your masters.

If you're OK with living that kind of life fine and just give up and go to the US otherwise you need to disappear and break contact with everybody you ever met.

Either fight or give up it can't be both.


I'm going to try to explain this; but words really won't do it justice. I cannot convey the strength of "cultural bonds" with text on a computer screen.

As someone from a Nigerian family, we too normally have very strong family bonds. You can't just do whatever you want. The closest thing I could compare it to is kinda of like, all your family is considered immediate-family. In the same way you must balance decisions with your spouse you also must consider everyone's feelings & wants - Even people who are not logically impacted by your decisions and live 1,000+ miles away.

Just throwing away the family network brings you great shame. Yes, pure logic says "Why should I care what a bunch of elders 3,000 miles away think? They know nothing of what I'm going through." ...but somehow... you can't just do that. It's a major part of who you are and breaking those bonds will you empty inside and dishonored by your family(maybe friends too). This is even more the case with women of the culture. It's much easier to create an external reason to defy your family like this lady is trying to do - so it looks like "Hey, I tried to do what you told me. Something else got in the way! Sorry! But you still love me, right?"

This will probably sound like nonsense to anyone not part of this type of cultural system.


Thank you for saying this. Seems a lot of people here can't get out of their own cultural viewpoint. This type of disobeying of family (especially from a women) is looked down upon like, say, raping someone is in the US or Europe.


I have seen a bare fragment of this in my wife's family. It's the crab bucket culture, and is highly destructive to individual growth.

There may be valid reasons for such a culture to exist, but for the most part, they do not apply in rich industrial nations. China, for instance, is about to feel some cultural growing pains thanks to its generation under the One Child Policy and its increasing urban industrialization.

Once a strong family network is no longer necessary for individual prosperity, it tends to collapse back down to a smaller, more manageable size. You don't have to carry your creepy uncle, and your layabout second cousin, and your overbearing great aunt on your back any more, because they can all get factory jobs and/or welfare payments.

This lady, between Spain and the US, has a better opportunity to escape the crab bucket than she will ever have in Pakistan. If she does not take it soon, even without the degree, she may be condemning herself to a life without freedom by her own choice.


You're probably right i don't understand it. That's a lot of energy and effort put into pleasing people whom can and probably do have ulterior motives just so you can belong to a group.

Is that group really wort all that effort?

Does belonging to that group get you where you want to go?

The answer for me was a resounding no but it could be different for you.

There's very few people worth my respect and consideration but I certainly wouldn't bother to please and entire village.

If you're not pissing people off you're doing something wrong.


Well, ya know the saying "It takes a village to raise a child.". That same mindset assumes the entire village is the family. So if you grow up in that world, you don't want to disappoint that community.

>>If you're not pissing people off you're doing something wrong.

I definitely try to run my life as opposite from this as reasonably possible. "Reasonably" being the word that's very debatable.


>Regardless if you're life is in danger that's the equivalent of slavery and their not your family anymore their your masters.

Yes, women were historic (in many places) and currently (in some places) property of men. Why don't you get this?

You even see history of it in the current western marriage ceremony. A father "gives away" her daughter at the alter. This horrible "tradition" represents the exchange of property from father to husband.

Anyways, marriage for love is a recent invention. Previously in time marriage was more of a business transaction.


"you need to disappear and break contact with everybody you ever met"

Wow, that is some advice! I bet she is thankful for that! [IRONY]


Well, what are the other alternatives? Also, she seems to hate everyone she knows, so is the advice really that bad?


Maybe he is taking her at her word? From the article:

I have said "No" but being a Pakistani girl there's nothing I can do. I was even forced to marry that guy who is 15 years older than me. And I would say goodbye to everything but I have to wait for the right time. I'm being mean though, I need my family right now to support me until I finish my school. And then it will be up to me. I know I sound selfish but it's nothing compared to what they've done to me and my life. – user11743 25 mins ago

In Pakistan and other such nations, a woman disappearing and breaking contact with everybody is not as easy as it sounds. In the US a woman can do that with a very high probability of finding a job, not living in dire poverty [1] and not being raped. In Pakistan it's not remotely that easy.

[1] I'm talking about actual poverty, not US style relative poverty.


She's not in pakistan though, she's in Spain, where they have concepts like asylum for people that may be murdered if they return to their home country.


Asylum does exist, but some countries in Europe are making it harder and harder to avail oneself of the option, due to rising anti-immigrant sentiment. Spain grants only a small number of asylum requests, e.g. 230 people in 2012. Some of it is official policy, and some unofficial policy of just making it as difficult as possible to actually claim asylum and get a proper hearing. If she were in Sweden, the odds would be better.


Besides that, if she requests and receives asylum in Sweden, Norway, Finland, or Denmark, she can likely continue studying for her university degree there, even without any family support. I think Sweden might have recently restricted non-European foreigners, though--I can't recall.


All of them except Norway have restricted the free education to EU/EEA citizens, I believe. University is still free in Norway for anyone of any citizenship, although even there there is some kind of requirement to prove ability to sustain yourself (might be possible through part-time jobs). Denmark, Finland, and Sweden have all introduced tuition fees for non-EU citizens, about €8k/yr in Denmark.

However I don't know what the situation is if you receive asylum. You might be treated as domestic for education purposes in that case, since it would be in the state's interest for people granted asylum to get an education and increase their employability.


Scandinavia and Iceland are pretty much the world leaders with respect to women's rights now, and have a keen interest in their public welfare, so if I were a woman without any form of family support, in fear for my life thanks to a tradition of honor murders in my native culture, I'd rather be there than anywhere else in the world. Even if people frown at you because you're a stranger, at least they aren't killing you because they know you too well.


Those countries are not alike. Norway, Finland and Denmark are all very restrictive in immigration matters.


If she went to Sweden she would be sent back to Spain for asylum processing, there is a treaty that a refugee in EU is the responsibility of the arrival country. One of the reasons that Sweden can be generous, it's hard to get here directly.


Yeah that's true. I meant she'd be in a better situation if she had been a student at a Swedish university, rather than a student at Spanish university, not that she can move to Sweden now. Sweden gives about 15x as many asylum offers each year as Spain (~3500 people/yr vs. 230 people/yr), despite having a much smaller population, though admittedly a wealthier one. It also tends to actually follow the rules on processing applications, rather than inventing bureaucratic technicalities to prevent them from being recorded as formally filed in the first place. Spain receives a lot more immigrants than Sweden, as you note, but somehow records very few asylum applications as even submitted.


> Now it's amazing that this in this day and age that is acceptable but i guess you can get away with anything if you say the magic word: "It's my religion/culture".

I don't think anyone here is saying it's acceptable. But maybe there's a easier way than instantly rebelling, losing her funding for living expenses/college, and possibly getting a headhunter after her. Perhaps she can keep up the "denied entry into the US" lie long enough to make it finish college and become more independent, and then have the strength to fight?

Being pragmatic instead of idealistic isn't always wrong. Especially when your future life is on the line.


Remember that in certain circumstances and parts of the world "peer pressure" can mean honor killing.


It's hard to have the strength to say no in certain situations. Not everyone is in the same position as you to say no.


You make life seems so easy.


Surely she could just say she was rejected. Does she need notarized proof??


She said her family is "smart" and some work at JFK. She believes they will know if she didn't actually come.


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