Life Advice



Ask Amy: 'Green card' marriage worries friends

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My dear friend of almost 40 years is getting ready to enter into a green card marriage with a young man he met on the internet!

My friend, "Frederick," is a hairstylist in his mid-60s, who has never been lucky in love. His longest relationship was 25 years ago and lasted only three months. He has never lived with anyone. After building a successful salon, he is now nearing retirement, owns his own home, and has a nice nest egg.

Unfortunately, he is lonely and vulnerable.

Frederick recently shared with a few of his closest friends that he had met a 26-year-old young man, "Juan," on a dating site. Juan is from an impoverished country renowned for its violent culture. They have met in person only twice at a resort in Florida, and apparently "clicked," sexually and otherwise.

Now Frederick is in a fantasy world of romance. He plans to sponsor Juan, bring him to the U.S. next month, and move him into his home where they will share a bedroom.

I persuaded Frederick to get a background check on Juan, which revealed that he had been essentially truthful in describing his background, but the report strongly cautioned that his poor country has a cottage industry of seeking U.S. citizens for green card marriages.


On one level Frederick acknowledges that he is almost literally courting disaster and heartache, but he is giddy talking about his upcoming wedding and honeymoon with this virtual stranger (who is young enough to be his grandson).

Frederick is very sensitive, and has asked for my advice, but then clearly doesn't want to hear it. He has a "yes, but" for every concern raised by me or others.

Do we just watch this ship hit the iceberg? Is there nothing we can do?

-- Caring Friend


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