Culture Memoirs of An Illegal Alien

Business Marriage – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly : Memoirs Of An Illegal Alien Part 62

 The wedding date is finally set. After delays and some excuses Rosa has finally committed to a date.  We will be getting married in 9 months. She has finished school and was now working as a doctor at Broward General.  She was getting a huge salary. One I could probably never be able to get if I stay an illegal alien. I have to admit I felt threatened by her salary. She needs nothing from me.  She would be the breadwinner. She would be the one lifting her weight and carrying me. It was not a nice feeling.

Rosa was excited about the date being set. She was even talking about children.  My family was also ecstatic.  My mother called every day since we set the date. She and Rosa had formed a strong bond again. 

Now that the date was set I was beginning to have second thoughts.  The delays turned me off. I felt she had me “hanging on a string” because she was my only hope to become a legal resident.  I was not sure if my love for Rosa was not going to be the type of love that endures forever. Maybe I have a fairytale idea of what love is.  Occasionally I still thought about Angela.

All these factors did not mean I could not marry her. I had come this far and was committed to doing this.  It was not only about me but Sue. I was the hope for my family “getting through” to come to America. I had some love for Rosa. The question in my mind was “Is it enough to sustain a marriage? “.

I had very mixed emotions. I was getting what I wanted but it felt a little like a business marriage.  I found myself asking the question. Am I getting married only for the green card? If I was then it is a business marriage.

 I could not help but contemplate some of the stories of friends and acquaintances who have gotten married for a green card. 

The Good
Sue had a friend named Janice.  She was a beautiful half black-half Indian girl in her late 20’s from Naggo’s Head in Portmore, Jamaica. They met at the supermarket. Janice was a UWI graduate who came to the US on a visitor’s visa with her young son. She stayed because she met a Jamaican man who said he would marry her.  She had stayed with him for years on this promise of marriage. He took care of her and she did not have to do anything.  Her son was in private school.

Then one day he left her for another woman. She had no papers. She was determined to keep her son in private school. She started cleaning people’s homes. She would tell Sue stories about how people treated her badly as they suspected she was illegal. On 2 occasions men tried to rape her but she got away. A few times she was offered live-in jobs to take care of a senior but she could not as she had to take care of her son. No social security meant there was no freedom to find another job. She had to take what she could get. She had a driver’s license as they use to allow anyone on a visitor’s visa to get one. The law has changes since.

Janice had no family in Miami. Her family in Jamaica would not help her because they did not support her moving here. They wanted her to come back to Jamaica. She saved her money and decided she would do a business marriage.

She met a Jamaican guy who agreed to do it. He was not working and needed the money. He was 6 years younger than her. He would move in with her as they had to get to know each other well.

Sue was skeptical and told her. She did not listen and went ahead with the marriage. Based on the pictures it was a very expensive wedding.  Janice wanted it to look legitimate.

After 2 years in the marriage Janice got her papers. Sue and I thought she would get divorced in a few months after receiving her papers. She didn’t get a divorce. She and the guy fell in love. He treated her son like his own and took care of her.  They were expecting a child of their own.

There are so many bad business marriages that it was refreshing to hear one that went well.

The Bad

Charles was an acquaintance from school. He did not know my situation but he opened up to me about him being an International student wanting to stay in the USA. He was from Spanish Town and had a rough life growing-up.

 I kept in touch with him once in awhile. He had completed his degree and exhausted all the options to get his green card. His last resort was marriage.   He had overstayed his student visa. He was an engineer major. Once he graduated from Broward Community College he went to the University of Florida in Gainesville. He was an Electric Engineering major. He graduated at the top of his class and tried to get a job. No one would hire him being that he needed a company to sponsor him for his green card. He would say that they would hire a Pakistani or Indian before they hired him.

He was extremely frustrated. His only source of income after he came out of status was cutting lawns with a crew. He hated it but did it because it was the only way he could make money without documents.

He kept trying to get a “work” sponsor but nothing happened. His only hope was marriage. He had a standing offer from a close friend who also went to school with us at Broward Community College. Her name was Janet.  I felt mixed when he mentioned Janet. She was labeled as “crazy” by Mark another acquaintance from school who dated here. He said she tried to kill him when he broke it off with her. He claimed she had tried to stab him in her apartment. He showed me the scar on his hand where he tried to defend himself.

He also said that Janet called his new girlfriend and threatened her. She told his new girlfriend that he was still coming to her and put doubts in her mind.  It was very difficult believing Mark even though he seemed to have strong evidence.

No one else I knew had anything bad to say about Janet. I had 2 classes with her and she was the sweetest person you ever met. In one class we were in the same group. She was the best person on the team. She did most of the work. When anyone slacked off she did their work. No one wanted to be the speaker for the group presentation. She stepped up and did the speaking parts of the presentation. She did a great job and we received an “A” for the project.

She and Charles were very good friends when we were in college. She is a US citizen so it would be a smooth “transaction”.

Charles had a girlfriend that did not know his “situation”. He told her that Janet was a cousin and she needed a place to stay.

They had a quiet marriage and Charles was happy at first.

Then Janet wanted to keep tabs on him. She kept telling him that it was to be sure they knew each other well for the future INS interview. Then she started showing up at places he went to.  When he started to protest she would apologize. Charles said she would cry and tell him how much she wanted to help him. He was a “softie” and the tears worked every time.

Then she started asking for sex. He refused. She threatened to reveal herself to his girlfriend. He still refused. Then he told us a real “shocker”. He claimed she put something in his drink one night and she raped him. He stayed with her but she kept insisting on them sleeping together.  She kept using the threat of exposing the marriage to either INS or his girlfriend to get anything she wanted. He got fed up and left her. He moved to Dallas, Texas. He wanted to be far away from her.

The Ugly

Uncle Teddy had a friend, Delroy, who came up from Jamaica specifically to find a woman to marry for his green card. It was his mission.  We did not know this until the whole thing “blew-up”.

He came on a six-month visa and was living with a relative in Palm Beach.  While here is he met a very pretty white American lady who he wooed.  The lady had a daughter from a previous marriage.  Uncle Teddy nicknamed her the “blond bombshell”. Sue saw her once and called her a “dumb blond”.

He went back to Jamaica and she visited him there a few times.  I heard he took her around Jamaica and she fell in love with the island. She even started to support one of his nephew’s schooling in Jamaica. She hired a lawyer and was able to get Delroy a fiancé visa.

Within a year he was in the US.   When Uncle Teddy lived with us he would visit us on occasion. They were “drinking” partners. 

Delroy got married and they had 3 children. All the signs we saw never pointed to this being a “business” marriage.  When we went to New York  we had asked Uncle Teddy how Delroy was doing and why did he not come up for the wedding.  Uncle Teddy told us the situation. It was very ugly.

Apparently Delroy had a plan once he got his green card. The day he got the green card he immediately moved out the house shocking his wife and children. He cleaned out their joint bank account and cashed out the pre-paid college money that they had set aside for the children to go to college. He also took valuable items from the house.  Within a week he had filed for divorce. Within a month he sent for his wife in Jamaica and their 2 children. All this time he had a wife in Jamaica. He was planning a “new” marriage with this wife to get her a green card.

One of the children was his “nephew” that his US wife supported.  The money that was sent to Jamaica was used to support his wife and family.  His wife in the US had been tricked.

As Uncle Teddy told the story you could see the shock on his face. He mentioned that Delroy’s wife in Jamaica knew all along about this plan. He said she did not care if he had children with this lady as she understood it gave the marriage legitimacy. Uncle Teddy tried to rationalize some of it by saying people are desperate for opportunities to come to the USA and will do anything.

It got worst.  His US wife after getting over the initial shock hatched her own plan before the divorce was finalized.  She was not a “dumb blond”. She called the police and told them that Delroy was molesting his step daughter. Uncle Teddy claimed she “put” her daughter up to saying these things about Delroy. She also filed a claim with INS for fraud that he committed polygamy. She now knew people in Jamaica and was able to obtain all the paper work to prove the polygamy.  Then she filed charges with the police for theft of the items Delroy took. 

As Uncle Teddy told us the story we were shocked and could not believe it.

Delroy was convicted of sexual molestation as his testimony of a “blond haired and blue eyed” little girl was no match for a “black Jamaica man”. In fact the other children testified against him saying they witness him groping their step sister and they were molested too. He also was investigated by INS for fraud. In the end he was sent to jail and will be deported to Jamaica once he serves his time.

His Jamaican wife and children are still in the US. They now have no hope of getting a green card. They are all illegal aliens. They are in hiding as Delroy’s US wife has hired a private investigator to find them. She wants them deported. Uncle Teddy said he sends them money from time to time.


Now that we have a date the reality of a marriage commitment brought on fear. Would I end up like one of these stories? My mind was too pre occupied with business marriages.  I told myself that my marriage was not going to be a business marriage; it was going to be real. It had to be…

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