Often times these marriages involve underage girls who were forced into marriage by their parents.
The New York Daily News reports:
Some city teens fly to their parents’ homeland for what they think is a vacation and wind up stuck in a marriage against their will. Others face beatings or worse if they refuse a wedding here – sometimes by parents who stand to gain financially by the union.
One of Pyati’s clients, a girl from a West African family, was 15 when she became a bride by proxy. Her father arranged the marriage while visiting his homeland, while she was back in their New York apartment. When the time came to get on a plane, she said no.
“She refused and refused and suffered physical violence in the home,” Pyati said.
Finally, she agreed to move to Georgia and become the wife of a West African man there, Pyati said. After being beaten, she fled. She was 17 and pregnant.