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.
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
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!!
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.
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:
The thieves just rented a car, and drove there. Possibly to fight Jihad.
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
Google Maps uses a modified Mercator projection, which distorts distances.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
Basically, Western society got this crap out of the way a few hundred years ago. We still have "slut shaming" and other milder vestiges.
Wow, now you owe us a story describing which community in Switzerland does things like this.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pakistan is on the edge, including or excluding it's more of an opinion thing.
Maybe the right answer is "the Middle East is a spherical cow anyway."
And this is just Ireland, I imagine the repercussions of getting denied from the US are a little more severe.
Entering country illegally however IS a crime.
#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++)
This was 2006.
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.
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.
Why did (s)he do that? Did you miss your flight?
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.
- "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"
That should get her entry denied too.
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'.
So my advice is, go there without money, accommodation, contacts or purpose, and they won't let you in.
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.
F*ck the sort of family that marries you to someone 15 years older against your will, frankly.
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.
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.
This is not an opinion but my experience (I tried exactly that line tough in a different country)
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.
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.
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...
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 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.
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?
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
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.
"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?
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.
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.
How is this not a warranted situation for deportation, and why should he not be deported?
"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."
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.
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.
They can avoid having their lives ruined merely by not acting like misogynist thugs amidst teeming hordes of people that believe in gender equality.
She is studying in Spain.
She is from Pakistan where cultural norms are different.
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.
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?
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.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honour_killing_in_Pakistan "honour killings have a high level of support in Pakistan's rural society"
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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.
That all being said, I wish her good look to find a way to do it without putting herself in any kind of danger.
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.
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.
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.
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.
>>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.
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.
Wow, that is some advice! I bet she is thankful for that! [IRONY]
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  and not being raped. In Pakistan it's not remotely that easy.
 I'm talking about actual poverty, not US style relative poverty.
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.
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.