When you think of child marriage in the United States, you think of Dearborn, Michigan:
It's not just Islamic immigrant communities that are forcing underage girls into marriage with older men, though.
A little-known fact is that 18 states in America don't even have laws specifying a minimum age for marriage. Seven states allow child marriage if the child is pregnant.
And girls born and bred in America are being forced into marriages. There were 11,000 child marriages in Kentucky between 2000 and 2018, when it was banned. Are pedophiles, whether part of networks, or not, taking advantage of this lack of laws? Yes, definitely
There is definitely organized opposition to bans on child marriage at the state level. In New Jersey, for example, the legislature had passed a bill banning child marriage, but Governor Chris Christie vetoed it on religious grounds.
It's well-known that when Islamic religious associations in New Jersey realized the bill was going to pass in spite of their efforts to lobby against it, they put in a heavy last-ditch effort to get Christie to veto it. And he did, polls in previous elections showed that the vote from Islamic communities have been key to getting him elected.
Religious fundamentalism, probably with the background support of elites, may be the key obstacle to getting child marriage banned in America, though. As described in the Daily Mail article, Christian fundamentalists have opposed child marriage bans because it would supposedly lead to more abortions.
And Islamic fundamentalists accept child marriage as a principle of Islam, encoded in the Koran. They oppose bans on child marriage whether in the Middle East, or the United States: