Just doing some reading on IMBRA - the Federal Act signed in 2005 which greatly affects those of us who are looking ofr a wife from the FSU and who apply for more than a single Finace Visa.
This is what Congress had to say about men looking ofr a foreign wife and US men in general.
Congress finds the following:
(1) There is a substantial international marriage broker business worldwide. A 1999 report by the Immigration and Naturalization Service estimated that there were at least 200 such companies operating in the United States, and that as many as 4,000 to 6,000 individuals in the United States, almost all male, found foreign spouses through for-profit international marriage brokers each year. The international marriage broker business has grown significantly in recent years, greatly facilitated by the Internet. Studies suggest that in 2005 approximately 500 such companies operate in the United States. In addition, the total number of foreign individuals entering the United States to marry United States residents each year more than doubled between 1998 and 2002. It is estimated, then, that in 2005 at least 8,000 to 12,000 individuals in the United States find foreign spouses through for-profit international marriage brokers each year.
(2) That report noted that the `pervasiveness of domestic violence in our society has already been documented, and with the burgeoning number of unregulated international matchmaking organizations and clients using their services, the potential for abuse in mail-order marriages is considerable.' The report noted further that men in the United States who use the services of an international marriage broker tend to seek relationships with women whom they feel they can control.
(3) The dangers posed to foreign women who meet their United States husbands through international marriage brokers are underscored by the growing number of cases across the United States of foreign women who have been abused or killed by those husbands. Two highly publicized examples are the murders in Washington State of Susanna Remunerata Blackwell of the Philippines and Anastasia Solovieva King of Kyrgyzstan.
(4) A 2003 survey of programs providing legal services to battered immigrant women across the country found that more than 50 percent of these programs had served female immigrant clients battered by men in the United States they met through international marriage brokers.
(5) 30.4 percent of all women in the United States are physically abused by their husbands or male cohabitants at some point in their lives. 49.3 percent of immigrants reported physical abuse by an intimate partner during their lifetimes, with 42.1 percent reporting severe physical or sexual abuse. Among immigrants who were married or formerly married the lifetime abuse rate raises as high as 59.5 percent.
(6) Of abusive United States citizen or legal resident spouses, 72.3 percent never file the immigration papers necessary for their foreign spouses to obtain legal immigrant status, and the 27.7 percent who eventually do file wait an average of 4 years to do so. In 1994, Congress included immigration protections in the Violence Against Women Act (`VAWA') (Public Law 103-322; 108 Stat. 1902), to remove the ability of abusive United States citizens and legal permanent residents to fully control their foreign spouses' ability to gain legal immigration status. By removing the threat of automatic deportation, VAWA aims to enable battered immigrants to take actions to protect themselves and their children, such as calling the police, obtaining a civil protection order, or filing criminal charges.
I have mixed feelings about IMBRA. Of course these statistics are skewed to show the message that is desired to be projected. I had a man working for me some years back. He had a lot of problems and one being his wife but I would not have wished him on any sane woman. One morning I picked him up for work and his face was bloody. He said (although he had many bad habits he was honest) he was sitting down tying his shoe and his wife kicked him in the face. He said he held his words and just got out of there as fast as he could. If he had defended himself she would have called the police as she had done many times before. If the police came it is Kansas law and maybe federal also that if called to a domestic dispute one party must be arrested. Due to logistics of the children police will seldom arrest the woman because that leaves the man to care for the children so no matter who does the violence the man is charged and because of this law no matter what level of a dispute there is (whether a verbal argument or violent physical confrontation) it is registered as domestic violence, someone is charged so it makes a tick on the bean counters pages.
Now with that being said it is a hassle for the marriage agency, the man, and is probably not the most romantic first step to shove a rap sheet in front of her face before continuing with the invitation to get to know each other better. However if it weeds the characters who have a strong potential for harm to the woman I am all for it.
This also demonstrates the United States dedication to protect these spouses which in my opinion is a good thing. I have read some about the human slave trade especially the sex end of it and most of the cases I have read about the victims are befriended, conned, trapped unaware until it is too late. Because of the United States's stance on this kind of treatment this trade is prevalent mostly across Europe, Asia, and Africa and Fsu women are a prime target for this industry.
So even as this is a distasteful law it has its merits. And I do not mind the hassle involved with it.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
I COMPLETELY disagree with you Land-of-oz.
This law suggests that ALL men by nature are violent unless proven otherwise. If I get another fiance visa for my current lady - my name goes into a database and I then have to ask PERMISSION -which can be denied for no good particular reason - to get a third at any time in my lifetime (or for at least ten years) as if it is assumed that I am an offender of some type.
If you don't mind being assumed guilty until proven innocent, that's up to you OZ. But this law has NO MERITS.
IMBRA was lobbied in Congress by Tahiri Justice Center, a feminist Iranian Ba'hai organization, with 18,000 votes against 50,000 single men listed with international match-making agencies, and received $1 million to enforce it.
IMBRA requires that an international broker to not provide contact or general information on a foreign woman to an American man unless that broker first collects and discloses to the woman the following information about the man:
1. Every state of residence since the age of 18;
2. Current or previous marriages as well as how and when they terminated;
3. Information on children under 18;
4. Any arrest or conviction related to controlled substances, alcohol or prostitution, making no distinction on arrests not leading to conviction;
5. Any court orders, including temporary restraining orders, which are notoriously easy to procure;
6. Any arrest or conviction for crimes ranging from homicide to child neglect;
7. Any arrest or conviction for "similar activity in violation of Federal, State or local criminal law" without specifying what "similar" means.
European Connections & Tours, Inc. vs. Gonzalez, et al., No. 1:06-cv-00426-CC, U.S.D.C., N.D. Ga.
(Temporary Restraining Order, March 07, 2006, Cooper, D.J.)
(*Special Credit to European Connections for their good lead in the cause against IMBRA.)
There is a first positive victory against IMBRA. It comes from one court and one judge. But it advances the cause against IMBRA, and offers the first legal basis to mount further successful challenges. A TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (TRO) against the U.S. Attorney General and the Justice Department from enforcing the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005 (IMBRA) against an IMB in Georgia was issued by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.
The Order was entered on March 08, 2006, with the Clerk's Office for the U.S. District Court. It was signed on March 07, 2006 by Judge Clarence Cooper. This TRO Order enjoins the U.S. Attorney General and the Justice Department from enforcing IMBRA against the Plaintiff in the case at hand, European Connections & Tours, Inc., an IMB defined under the law, until such time as Government Attorneys from the Justice Department submit opposing argument and briefs at a hearing on a motion for PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, set for March 20, 2006 at 1:30 PM.
The PRACTICAL EFFECT of this ruling, though it is worded soley against European Connections, is that the enforcement of the IMBRA law against other IMBs and their customers in other jurisdictions, in our opinion, will MOST LIKELY BUT WITHOUT TOTAL CERTAINTY be postponed by the Justice Department at least until the TRO is lifted. That would seem to be by the hearing date for motion for PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, namely March 20, 2006. Of course, that is soley our opinion, and the Justice Department would make that final decision.
Yes, most of you will have many questions indeed, for myself and other attorneys. One obvious question is do I need to comply with the IMBRA law at this point? There really are no perfect answers. In light of the probable practical effect of this federal court TRO, that is an individual decision that will have to be made by each IMB and IMB customer with regards to the risk involved, at least until the end of the TRO, March 20, 2006. The law is now in litigation, in this case as well as in probably others around the country, and will not be clarified until final ruling. We are probably moving into a "gray" world where IMBRA will be "in contest" in the courts for some time.
As for the Order here, please keep carefully in mind that this ruling emanates from one court in one place. It is not necessarily binding in other jurisdictions. It appears to very limited in time as well, until the next hearing. But as a practical matter, in our opinion, the Justice Department will likely choose not to try and enforce the law until at least March 20, 2006 in other locations and against others.
A very encouraging aspect of the Court's analysis in support of the Order is contained in the discussion of the legal requirements for issuance of a TRO. The Court found that Plaintiff has a "substantial liklihood of success on the merits" of the First and Fifth Amendment constitutional claims (free speech and equal protection.) This means that the Court is very inclined to agree with the principal constitutional arguments against IMBRA as the case proceeds forward, and the prospects for final victory at least in this court look bright.
Yes, there are still many unanswered questions. There is more work ahead. We are not done yet with this law. We have a long way to go. We must be cautious. This is but one battle. This is a good first victory, and provides a basis for more legal challenges ahead which will also hopefully be successful.
For now, at least for a brief moment, for those of us fighting for the cause against IMBRA, and after months of discouragement and frustration, we have one positive and encouraging result.
That story is very dated because a few days later we ALL (meaning anyone who believes in the concept of innocent until proven guilty) LOST:
"Falls Church, VA. March 27, 2007 – On Monday March 26th 2007, in an important legal
decision, Judge Clarence Cooper (from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia in Atlanta) rejected an international marriage broker’s claim that the
2005 International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) is unconstitutional. IMBRA is
a new law designed to provide greater protection for foreign women who marry men
through what are commonly known as “mail order bride” agencies. Layli Miller-Muro, the
Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Center noted, “This decision sends an important
message to the international marriage broker (“IMB”) industry, which has worked to resist
and evade its regulation, that it can no longer keep foreign women from poorer countries
ignorant of the violent histories of the men who use their services and the legal rights
available to women living in the United States.”
The lawsuit defeated in Monday’s decision was brought by a leading international marriage
broker, European Connections (“EC”). EC alleged that the law’s requirement that IMBs
provide information to foreign women about their legal rights and the criminal
backgrounds of their prospective American husbands infringed upon their constitutional
rights. In a detailed 40-page decision, Judge Clarence Cooper found that “The rates of
domestic violence against immigrant women are much higher than those of the U.S.
population” and that “IMBRA is highly likely to reduce domestic abuse – and may actually
save lives.” When considering EC’s arguments that the implementation of IMBRA would
cost them money, the judge noted that “the Court is confronted with the classic ‘blood-versus-money’ analysis, and the safety of foreign women coming to the United States is clearly the more vital interest.”
Senator Brownback's campaign manager has stated that IMBRA "was cosponsored by Senator Brownback as part of his fight against sexual slavery". He has partnered with a wacko Baha'i feminist not-for-profit organization (Tahiri Justice Center) named after an Iranian martyr: the Tahirih Justice Center.
Brownback is a guillible politican who has been sucking up to radical feminists such as the Tahirih Justice Center. Brownback along with his radical feminist groups successfully sponsored the IMBRA. The romance law was created on a false and misleading hysteria that International matchmaking organizations were involved with human trafficking of women into the USA for sexual exploitation.
Granted human trafficking is a horrific crime but there has NEVER BEEN A US BASED MATCHMAKING ORGANIZATION EVER CONVICTED OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING. So why are we regulating clients of matchmaking organizations since they obviously aren't involved. I wonder why Brownback and the radical feminists believe that International romance and love (a legal pursuit) is such a radioactive endeavor.
Senator Brownback's embracement of radical feminist ideology is simply an attempt to attract women voters. Brownback's stragegy is short sighted because he has aligned himself (foolishly) by radicals and fails to realize that mainstream conservative American men's rights are being destroyed for no apparent reason. Here is an article written from a mainstream feminist point of view.
IMBRA is a SCANDAL based on lies, deception, propaganda, 'manufactured' hysteria, cooked statistics, and fuzzy math to support ulterior motives.
What you have to understand about IMBRA is that it applies to U.S. based companies only and their U.S. citizen clients.
In other words, the U.S. can not impose their laws on citizens of other countries.
What I have seen though is agencies and sites using IMBRA to collect fees. I once told an agency that wanted me to fill out an IMBRA form and pay a fee that I'm not a U.S. citizen. It doesn't matter they told me. They still wanted me to fill the form and pay the fee. Needless to say that company lost a potential customer.
Even if you are a U.S. citizen, and don't comply with IMBRA, there have been no IMBRA prosecutions to date.
Where it may affect you is if you plan to sponsor your fiancée or spouse to the United States and did not comply with IMBRA regulations. But even in this case I have not heard of a case where a person didn't comply with IMBRA, married a foreign spouse and then she was denied immigration for this reason.
I think IMBRA is just window dressing to make it look like the U.S. is doing something about spousal abuse.
" Even if you are a U.S. citizen, and don't comply with IMBRA, there have been no IMBRA prosecutions to date."
That makes no sense...it is merely a guideline not a prosecuting law!! It can be used to deny immigration.
"Where it may affect you is if you plan to sponsor your fiancée or spouse to the United States and did not comply with IMBRA regulations. But even in this case I have not heard of a case where a person didn't comply with IMBRA, married a foreign spouse and then she was denied immigration for this reason."
You would not have any idea what the reason/s are for denial. It is a law with very little teeth, as you said it is window dressing and many sites do try to squeeze as much revenue as possible. I do know that fiancé is actually calls itself an 'introductory site' not a marriage broker to avoid IMBRA.