New Immigration Targets for Trump: Canceling J and K Visas, Ending Marriage Fraud

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

February 7, 2017

Mariya Chernykh, the Russian immigrant whose husband was a co-conspirator in the December 2015 San Bernardino terrorist shooting that killed 14 and seriously injured 22, admitted that her marriage to Enrique Marquez was a sham. Marquez is an Islam convert who purchased two of the guns used in the slaughter.

Mariya Chernykh, marriage fraudster linked to
San Bernardino massacre.

Chernykh, who overstayed her three-month J-1 visa, paid Marquez to marry her so she could get legal residency status. Under a plea agreement she made with prosecutors, Chernykh, an asylum applicant, could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $1 million in fines.

The ugly Chernykh case, with its link to terrorism, gives President Trump new targets to include in his immigration overhaul. First, the J-1 visa should, as CAPS has repeatedly stated, be eliminated. The J, issued to students to allegedly participate in international study and work programs, is fraud-ridden, and displaces young Americans looking for summer employment.

Trump must also crack down on the thousands of annual phony marriages between aliens and citizens. A primary target should be the shameless Internet mail-order bride business that earns millions for its operators, but allows fiancées to come to the United States virtually unrestricted. Pakistan-born Tashfeen Malik, one of the San Bernardino murderers, arrived in the U.S. from Saudi Arabia on a K-1 fiancée visa.

Trump’s recent executive actions prove he’s serious about immigration enforcement. While he’s at it, Trump should end the J and K visas, as well as instruct General John Kelly’s Department of Homeland Security to more vigorously pursue and prosecute marriage fraud.


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