DEAR ABBY: I am acquainted with a young man who is 18. His mother is pushing him to marry a young woman from South America so she can stay in the United States. The young lady is an employee at the mother's store. The mother is a very strong force, and I'm afraid he will go along with her plans.
I am sure this kind of thing is done all the time, but if this situation is discovered, what could happen to the young man? Could he go to jail for this? I would hate for him to ruin his life because of his pushy mother.
I would like to present him with all the facts before he commits himself to something this life-altering. If you print my letter, please don't reveal my name or location, as his mother would never allow him to see us again. -- CONCERNED
DEAR CONCERNED: His mother should be ashamed of herself. According to Judge Judith Champagne of the California Superior Court, the name for what you have described is "immigration fraud, and it is a felony that could, indeed, bring jail time." Please warn him that the feds are onto these kinds of shenanigans. "Couples who pretend to be married are called in for an interview and questioned separately about minute details that cannot be faked. Being convicted of a felony could ruin this young man's future, so I strongly advise against taking such a foolish risk."