Skip to main content

The Proposal: Fact or Fiction?

Last weekend’s highest-grossing film at the box office was the new rom-com from Buena Vista Pictures “The Proposal,” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Bullock plays Margaret, the big-bad-book editor-boss (think Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” but 20 years younger and sans the signature “that’s all” line) from Canada who blackmails her tail-between-his-legs assistant (Reynolds) into marrying her in order to escape her deportation order.

From an immigration perspective, there are several aspects of the film that are just laughable. “Immigration” is still referred to as “INS.” Mr. Adjudicator follows the happy couple all the way from New York City to Alaska in order to expose their fraudulent marriage (he must be operating under a different budget than the “real INS”). And the best, by far, was when Ms. Margaret and her “fiancé” marched down to the USCIS office in Federal Plaza on a Friday afternoon, jump line, and are granted an interview for the following Monday (and I thought USCIS had made great strides getting wait times down to about four months!).

There was absolutely no accuracy to the representation of the immigration process for a family petition. However, while not the primary focus, the film touches on a huge problem in the US immigration system: people entering into fraudulent marriages for the purposes of immigration benefits. I’m sure at some time or another, we’ve all suspected a client of entering into a marriage with “ulterior motives,” but do we ever stop to consider why this is becoming a trend? In an immigration system that allows so few options for people seeking relief – be it economic, social, religious, or political relief – many turn to marriage fraud as a last resort. Because, if you think about it, at the very worst, you get sent home anyway, and at the very best, you get a shot at the American Dream. And for folks coming from faraway places with zero economic opportunity, rocky political climate or lack of freedom, pretty much any risk is worth taking to avoid a one-way return ticket.

The film is lighthearted in nature, but hopefully it will also bring to light some of the issues that this country needs to seriously address – and SOON. There must be more legal avenues through which to immigrate. There must be a greater number of visas allotted for workers in order to accommodate our 21st century economy. And there must be greater humanitarian considerations in the adjudication process. Perhaps if we can work towards these changes and reforms, we will see less instances of fraud and more instances of legitimacy; less instances of undocumented workers being exploited and more instances of companies paying everyone a fair wage; less instances of divided families and more instances of unification. For book editors or busboys, the system has to work for everyone, but first and foremost, it has to WORK.


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…
Si usted es inmigrante (incluso un ciudadano de los EE.UU.), aquí hay 9 cosas que usted debe saber.

¿Es usted un ciudadano estadounidense naturalizado, residente legal permanente, titular de una visa o inmigrante indocumentado? Le recomendamos que tome los siguientes pasos para protegerse de nuestra versión actual de América.
Las últimas semanas hemos recordado a los inmigrantes, incluso a los ciudadanos estadounidenses naturalizados, que no nacieron en los Estados Unidos. Nuestra oficina ha recibido innumerables llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de correo electrónico y mensajes de medios sociales de personas preocupadas por el futuro de su familia en los Estados Unidos.
La mayoría de gente quiere saber qué puede hacer ahora para protegerse de lo que promete ser una ola de actividad anti-inmigración por parte del gobierno federal. La orden ejecutiva de Trump sobre la aplicación de la ley interior tiene algunas disposiciones que deberían hacer temblar a la mayoría de los estadounidenses. …

The DOJ Raised The Penalty Fee for Immigration Law Violations--Including Employer Sanctions

The Department of Justice announced an increase in fines for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as the pertain to those sections that account for fraud, document abuse, and unfair immigration-related employment practices. While this is only an adjustment for inflation, it brings home the point that that poorly or incorrectly completing immigration forms, like the Form I-9, can lead to very costly fines from ICE and the Immigration Court. If you have any questions or concerns about I-9s in your company, please call the attorneys and Kuck Immigration Partners.  We have decades of experience representing employers in the ICE and DOL immigration investigations.  You can reach us at 404-816-8611 or at  

U.S.C. citation


CFR citation DOJ penalty assessed after 8/1/2016 ($) 1 DOJ penalty assessed after 2/3/2017 ($) 2 8 U.S.C.     IRCA; Unfair immigration-related employment practices, document abuse (per individual discriminated against).     …