Immigration reform? Oregon First Lady admits to sham marriage for green card

There are quite a few of us who have made more than one trip down the wedding aisle. (Hey… sometimes things don’t work out.) Such is the case with Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes, currently planning her fourth set of nuptials to Democrat Governor John Kitzhaber. Nothing illegal about that of course… except that she failed to mention marriage number three to the Governor (or anyone else) until reporters brought it to light this month. The reason for the secrecy becomes readily apparent when you hear that her brief marriage was to an 18 year old immigrant who needed a green card and paid her for the honor of her hand.

Oregon first lady Cylvia Hayes admitted Thursday she illegally married an Ethiopian immigrant because she needed money and he needed help to stay in the United States.

Hayes said she married 18-year-old Abraham Abraham in 1997 during a “difficult and unstable period in my life.” She said she was ashamed and embarrassed by the marriage, and for that reason, she never disclosed it to her current fiance Gov. John Kitzhaber.

“This is the most painful part for me,” she said. “John Kitzhaber deserved to know the history of the person he was forming a relationship with. The fact that I did not disclose this to him meant that he has learned about this in the most public and unpleasant way.”

It seems that this took place in 1997, so the statute of limitations has run out on this particular crime, but her “husband” (until their “divorce” in 2002) may still have his status revoked and be sent back to Ethiopia, assuming anyone in Immigration can be bothered to look into it.

Now, I can predict what some critics may say when they first hear of this story. Why is this news? It’s not the Governor who did this, he allegedly didn’t even know about it until this week, and why are we chasing after wives or girlfriends anyway? In response, Mark Krikorian at National Review points out that the First Lady isn’t just a fiancee.. she’s a player in the political game of thrones in her own right.

Cylvia Hayes, Oregon’s “First Lady” (Democrat governor John Kitzhaber’s girlfriend), has confessed to engaging in immigration fraud by entering into a sham marriage, for money, with an Ethiopian teenager in 1997 to enable him to get a green card. Hayes isn’t just the governor’s squeeze; she’s a political consultant who’s “taken an active role in . . . developing the governor’s energy and environmental policy.”

This is clearly an alternate theory of immigration reform, but Krikorian notes that this actually isn’t the first time that Democrat politicians have engaged in such shortcuts to “correct the broken immigration system.” I hadn’t even heard about one of them in my own back yard, but Empire State assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa recently plead guilty of essentially the same crime. She paid $8K to “launder” her status via marriage after emigrating from the Dominican Republic.

There has been plenty of push-back against President Obama by Democrats who are frustrated that he hasn’t used the phone and the pen to issue a broad amnesty order before leaving office. Clearly they are missing the signals from these folks who have found clever ways around the barriers inherent in the system. And if there is a clear signal from Washington that there is little interest in prosecuting such violations, what incentive remains to stop doing this?