And in Los Angeles, requests for marriage licenses are running 200 percent above normal. "We've had to divert some other staff to this area. We've had to put on overtime, start working Saturdays, and we're still behind," admitted Registrar Conny McCormack.
Altogether an estimated 640,000 couples are racing to beat an April 30 deadline that makes it easier for illegal immigrants to become legal residents, but only if they marry a legal U.S. resident by then. Miss the deadline and it's back to their home country for a visa, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart.
It's made love break out all over, as a woman in Los Angeles can attest to, "I love him too much. I want to get married and I got my papers ready to stay here in the United States. I love this country."
"It could be, 'What did you have for dinner last night?' It could be, 'Where did you spend your summer vacation?' It could be, "What did you give each other for your birthdays?'," said Joe Green of INS Investigations.
Or and this is no joke what color is your wife's toothbrush? The INS wants to know.
"If you marry a United States citizen for the purpose of getting a green card, it's fraud," warned Green.
But spend n afternoon at the Registrar's Office and it becomes clear that for most it's simply a welcome loophole. A last, best chance to turn what had already been a marriage of the heart into equals under the law.
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