The United States claims to be a strong opponent of child marriage around the world.
The data raises questions about whether the immigration system may be enabling forced marriage and about how US laws may be compounding the problem despite efforts to limit child and forced marriage. And these petitions generally put weight on whether the marriage would be legal in the country of origin.
Those included petitions in which a minor requests entry for their older spouse, a practice that, according to the non-profit Unchained At Last, allows families to avoid paying dowries. A State Department representative said the department is committed to protecting the rights of children and combatting forced marriage.
Read more here.