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Author Topic: IMBRA Update..the feminist applause begins..  (Read 21058 times)
Gary Bala
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« on: January 05, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

Today, Jan. 05, 2006, President Bush signed into law H.R. 3402, the "International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005", as part of the Violence Against Women and Dept. of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005.

See White House announcement:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/01/images/20060105_p010506pm-0129jpg-515h.html

The advocates of the IMBRA law are applauding its passage:

Sen. Maria Cantwell:
http://cantwell.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=250270

Sen. Patty Murray:
http://murray.senate.gov/news.cfm?id=250013

Rep. Rick Larsen:
http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/wa02_larsen/pr_12172005_mailorderbill.html

The feminist group, Tahirih Justice Center was a key advocate of this law.
http://www.tahirih.org/tahirih/

ANYONE WHO WISHES TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS LAW, PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE ARTICLE:

http://usaimmigrationattorney.com/nucleus/index.php

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JackofTrades
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to IMBRA Update..the feminist applause begi..., posted by Gary Bala on Jan 5, 2006

First they make this law, then they philosophize over it

http://www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2005/12/27/the-international-marriage-broker-act/

Go ahead, let em know how ya feel

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Brazilophile
Guest
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to IMBRA Update..the feminist applause begi..., posted by Gary Bala on Jan 5, 2006

Mr. Bala,

Thank you for your analysis of the new law.  I read your blog and still have a few questions.  

It appears that this law focuses ONLY to client men who are US citizens.  Is that correct?  Or might it also apply to non-US citizens who reside in the US, ie permanent residents.  Does it apply to US citizens who reside outside the US, say employees of US firms who are working abroad in subsidiaries for several years?

It understand this law applies ONLY to US agencies.  Is that correct?  Can agencies incorporated outside the US sell contact information to US citizens without liability from this law?  If the foreign based agency is owned, wholly or partly, by US citizens, are those US owners liable under the new law?

It appears this law focuses ONLY on the agencies.  Is that correct?  Does this law have any provisions aimed at the client men who purchase the ladies' contact information?  If an agency illegally sells contact information, is the client man liable under this law?  If the client man misrepresents himself, which leads the agency to violate the law, is the agency still liable?  Is the client man liable for anything under those circumstances?

It sounds like I am asking for free legal advice.  I guess I am.  But my motivation is greater clarity for those of us who participate in this industry both as sellers and buyers.  I will understand if you prefer to answer these specific questions privately for a fee.

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Gary Bala
Guest
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: IMBRA Update..the feminist applause ..., posted by Brazilophile on Jan 6, 2006

Thank you for your probing questions.

I am going to give you (and all the readers here) a freebie on this one, as you raise several issues which are (or should be) of important concern to many. (If people have more follow-up questions, please contact me privately as I prefer not to answer everybody's questions here on this forum.)

Initial comments: Keep in mind that the following is one attorney's viewpoint and analysis only (though I am a person who has been following this law extremely closely). As with any new law, there are many open questions under this law, including some serious legal weaknesses, possibly fatal, which may eventually be raised in federal court in a legal challenge.

DEFINITION OF TERMS
The drafters of this law were quite clever in their use of definitions, which are extremely broad. (Bo Cooper, former INS General Counsel from several years ago, actually drafted this law; he sits on the board of directors of the feminist Tahirih Justice Center.)

A close look at the definition of "International Marriage Broker" (IMB) which is (paraphrase) any corporation, individual, legal entity, etc. WHETHER OR NOT EXISTING UNDER THE LAWS OF THE U.S. who charges fees for providing dating, matrimonial, matchmaking or social referrals.

The definition of "U.S. client" (in the earlier Senate version of this law) includes any U.S. citizen or other person who resides in the U.S. who makes a payment or incurs debt for an IMB's services.

Definition of "foreign national client" in the current law is anyone outside the U.S. OR a legal permanent resident (LPR) in the U.S. who utilizes services of IMB.

ENFORCEMENT OF THIS LAW
We will have to see exactly how this law will actually be enforced and how vigorously and quickly. (There is a 60 day waiting period before the law’s provisions take effect.)

On its face, the broker provisions of the law delegate enforcement to the Justice Dept, and thus the U.S. Attorneys Offices. It appears that a broker will first receive a "citation” for violation followed by a Notice of Hearing for an “agency hearing on the record”. I suspect that this may be an immigration judge at the various immigration courts around the country or possibly before a federal magistrate. But that part is unclear and remains to be seen.

There are civil and criminal penalties on the broker for violations. There are penalties also on “any person” for “misuse of the information”, that is on those who use or disclose the U.S. client’s background information without consent, or who use it to harass or intimidate anyone.

It is important to note that this law states flat out that nothing in this new law shall “pre-empt” or supercede any penalties or remedies or enforcement under any state law. The new law is intended by Congress to SUPPLEMENT, NOT OVERRIDE, other state law rights, remedies and penalties.

SOME TENTATIVE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
1.Does the law apply ONLY to U.S. citizens only? The law applies to “U.S. clients”, which in the earlier Senate version of this law, was broadly defined as a U.S. citizen OR any person residing in the U.S. The definition does NOT say just U.S. citizens living in the U.S. So, yes, the law would seem to apply to a U.S. citizen working abroad in a foreign country.

2.Does the law apply ONLY to U.S. agencies? This is a very interesting question.

The simple and quick answer is: yes, the law applies only to U.S. companies owned and operated in the U.S., (even if they just happen to have a subsidiary or sub-division matchmaker abroad.) Frankly, IMO, it would be very difficult at best to enforce this law on a “foreign company”,  with full operations and staff abroad and foreign-owners (or a U.S. owner who is offshore).

But before foreign owners celebrate their “free pass”, there are some complications. For example, the law’s definition of IMB is NOT limited to a U.S. company. (It says ANY company WHETHER OR NOT organized under U.S. law.)

“Foreign national client” and “U.S. client” definitions are also NOT limited to those who deal with a U.S. company only. What about a foreign company with a website hosted by a U.S. server with a U.S. URL and actively soliciting U.S. customers and deriving most of their revenue from U.S. customers? Or who use a U.S. payment processor such as PayPay, partnered with Wells Fargo Bank (U.S. bank)? Or who have a U.S. PO Box or U.S. address on their website or who use an authorized sales agent or sales rep. in the U.S.?

One knowledgeable person I spoke with takes this view: In a special case where it may be warranted, this law can POSSIBLY be enforced on a foreign owner (or a U.S. owner living overseas) as follows: A citation is issued for a known broker violation to the owner, and he is convicted in “absentia”, with the record so noted. When he tries to visit or re-enter the U.S., USCIS officers at Port of Entry enforce the conviction on him by apprehension.

Another problematic issue for the foreign owner (or U.S. owner living overseas) is the Consular Interview for the visa. Under this law, the Officer is required to ask the lady if they met through an IMB (as broadly defined in that law). IF the answer is YES, he MUST ask if the IMB provided the lady with all the background client information on the U.S. client and secured her signed written release before the couple communicated. If NOT, then the Officer presumably has the discretion to DENY issuance of the visa because of the broker violation (even though it was a foreign company).

3.Does the law focus ONLY on the agencies and NOT the men clients? The law focuses on the IMBs and their obligations and penalties. There are no explicit penalties in this law on the U.S. client in dealing with the IMB, if he makes misrepresentations, falsehoods or submits false information. Remember though that this law does NOT pre-empt or over-ride your state law. So if the information the U.S. client submitted to the IMB was false under a signed certification or affidavit, then state law penalties for perjury and false information could apply.

It would seem though that no additional liabilities attach to the IMB if it was the U.S. client who submitted false information. Similarly, if the IMB did anything wrong, nothing in the law seems to penalize the U.S. client for that. In other words, the IMB and the U.S. client are each responsible for their own liabilities, not the other’s.

Keep in mind that the above applies only at the IMB stage of the couple’s communication and relationship. Once the gentleman is serious about the lady and chooses to file a U.S. K-1 Fiancée Visa petition with Immigration, he MUST certify that all information supplied by him in his petition package is truthful, under penalty of federal perjury: up to $25,000 fine and 5 years in federal prison.

HOW IS THE PUBLIC REACTING TO THIS LAW?:
THE “BUYER & SELLER” PUBLIC DIVIDE
Although it is always risky to categorize or label peoples’ response to this law (and of course, it is obvious that each person's view is individual and that each person thinks for himself), nevertheless, IMO, in the brief few days of this new law, the "buyer & seller" public, as you call it, seems to be divided roughly into 4 groups:

1) THE DISBELIEVERS – these people may still be in a state of “denial”, and probably need to reflect quietly and read this law

2) THE NEIGH-SAYERS – these may be people who under-estimate this law, and depreciate its potential effect, they almost “pooh-pooh” it . They take the view that the new law just means that everybody has to give up a little more information, and that it won’t have much real impact, or that it will take Uncle Sam years to enforcement it, so
who cares? (I hope that they are right, but I am not optimistic about that.)

3) THE DOOM-SAYERS – This group sees a monumental change in the landscape of international romance and the visa process: Brokers, agencies, tour groups, and correspondence websites leaving the business, and U.S. customers and foreign ladies basically “scared off” by suffocating document requirements, etc. For this group, this new law might be a combination of a tsunami, earthquake and asteroid hitting all at once, a “romance Armageddon”. (I fear that this may turn out to be only a small exaggeration.). A subset of this group are the RUN & HIDE group who will move overseas or underground to escape the clutches of this law, or at least will try.

4) THE REALISTS –This group is reading this law closely and attempting to try and comply with it as best they can cost-effectively, and thinking about some imaginative options, including but not only, use of release and consent forms on webpages, on the Internet, and via electronic forms, etc.

Frankly, it may well be that some people (sellers) will likely leave the business, go underground or go overseas. And some businesses will choose to violate the law until they are caught.

Bottom line: we will all experience and “live and learn” exactly what will happen as the law is actually rolled out.

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Ray
Guest
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Some answers under the IMBRA law...(very..., posted by Gary Bala on Jan 6, 2006

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the insight and professional interpretation.

What about the reference in the law to "K-visas"? Do you think the authors purposely left out CR-1/SR-1 visas because the foreign lady applicant is already married and they didn't want to (or didn't think they legally could) deny a visa to a spouse who may have met her American husband through an agency or who doesn’t know the ages of his children? If so, why did they apparently include K-3 visa applicants along with K-1 fiancées??

For those men with criminal backgrounds, can’t they bypass the background checks or multiple visa rule by simply marrying overseas and petitioning for a CR-1?

Ray

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Gary Bala
Guest
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: IMBRA law... , posted by Ray on Jan 6, 2006

Under IMBRA, what about the gentleman who pursues the CR-1/SR-1 legal resident (immigrant) visa for his spouse and family, as opposed to the K-3 visa for spouse or the K-1 for fiancee? A loophole?

That is a good point, Ray. It would appear that IMBRA for now is limited to the K visas, see Sec. 833 (e)(5), probably because the genesis of this law is rooted in those media shock cases involving a spouse abused after a marriage under the K-1 visa. Thus, issues under IMBRA as concerns the CR-1/SR-1, except for the domestic violence pamphlet and Consular interview, see Sec. 833 (a)(2) and (b), are not covered well, if at all.

Yet I am sure that the feminist advocates who deftly succeeded in getting this law on the books are not done. Once on the books, amendments to the law can be offered. They plan to conduct "action impact studies" of this law, to identify loopholes, omissions and problem areas where the law may not seem to operate well, such as enforcement problems, language problems with the pamphlet, etc. in order to  introduce corrective amendments.

Perhaps they are even reading this forum for ideas to future corrective action! Smiley But in all seriousness, we shouldn't assume they are not reading.

Take a look at the testimony of Michele A. Clark, before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 13, 2004, regarding the older proposed International Matchmaking Organization law, when she refers to this forum by name "Planet Love", (mispelled in the transcript). Page 2. Somebody is watching.

http://foreign.senate.gov/testimony/2004/ClarkTestimony040713.pdf

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Ray
Guest
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: Re: IMBRA law... , posted by Gary Bala on Jan 7, 2006

LOL! Probably a Freudian slip. Perhaps she was horny and couldn’t wait to get home to her loving cucumbers and corn-on-the-cob :-)

Notice how this bozo Michele slyly associated Planet-Love with “trafficking” women? That’s the new buzzword of the feminist left… “trafficking”. I guess in their mind, we are all traffickers of women sex slaves…LOL!

Gary, I am also convinced that there are many feminists out there monitoring this forum. There was one a while back who gives lectures on college campuses with Planet-Love as a main subject matter. I have tried calling them out with an invitation to debate here, but so far no takers.

I don’t think the authors of IMBRA unintentionally left out CR-1 visa applicants. My guess is that they had legal advice that impeding the issuing of a family-based immigrant visa to the spouse of a U.S. citizen would cause them big problems. Probably because immediate relatives/spouses of citizens have a stronger legal basis for immigration and trying to bar them would contradict congress’s recent intentions to expedite family reunification. But the fact that they included the K-3/K-4 along with fiancée K-1 applicants has me a bit confused.

As far as the “action impact studies” that you mentioned, I am assuming that if the numbers for foreign fiancée visas don’t decline significantly, then the feminists will consider the current version of the law a big failure :-)

Ray

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doombug
Guest
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: Re: IMBRA law... , posted by Gary Bala on Jan 7, 2006

[This message has been edited by doombug]

Or, "nolo contendere" verdicts are easy to obtain when the defendant (the MOB industry) is a no-show.

Funny how frequently Clark uses the term "some" in her testimony--"some agencies do this," "some agencies do that"--when she should have more accurately stated that "very few" agencies practice what she's claiming.  (Some:  "Being an unspecified number or part.")  Some football teams will reach the Super Bowl this year; and some might win.  A perfect device in an uncontested testimony where the agency dudes just let themselves get bowled over.  

Her references to Maxim magazine were hilarious.  Maxim (of which I'm a subscriber) puts a humorous slant on EVERYTHING in its pages--even such touchy subjects as tragedy and death.  ("If you think Latvian chicks are cool but like ‘em on the fleshy side, go to AFA’s search form – which also lets you cross-reference your search by age, religion, weight, and height. Anchovies are extra.")  Clark clearly suspected the committee would have little  knowledge of Maxim's content and style.


Snippets from some of the source articles/websites cited in her testimony:

From Mae Bunagan's "Cash on Delivery:
The mail-order bride industry exploits women":
http://www.digitas.harvard.edu/~perspy/issues/2002/nov/mae.html

"The female participants in this bargain, on the other hand, as impoverished women anxious to escape from desperate conditions, have essentially no power.  In order to be chosen, women must provide the information that the men want. The companies verify all information provided by the women, going so far as to measure them carefully."

No power?  Must provide?  Verify ALL information?

"The very fact that [men] pick their women through purchasing their contact information indicates that they are hungry for a sense of ownership."

This "fact" INDICATES nefariousness?

Two other citations referencing Michelle J. Anderson's, "A License to Abuse: The Impact of Conditional Status on Female Immigrants," link back to this heartwarming bastion of ultra-left, ultra-feminist leanings:
http://nostatusquo.com/

Do yourself a favor and check out some of those headlines.  Know who's conspiring to lock up men within their borders.

Ms. Anderson's full article on the MOB industry, and a snippet:
http://nostatusquo.com/ACLU/anderson/brides/pg1.html

"Studies vary widely in estimating the percentage (between 12-50%) of all married women who experience some form of domestic battery in their lives.  Whatever the rate in the general population, the percentage for immigrant women is probably higher."  

She cites this as her evidence:  "Exact numbers are difficult to gauge, but various reports suggest that the population of abused immigrant women is very large. Preliminary data from a random sample survey of 157 UNDOCUMENTED [my emphasis] Latinas in the D.C. metropolitan area indicates, for instance, that 60% of undocumented women report that they are battered by their spouses.")  So, D.C. hotel workers who snuck across the border illegally and became "abused" by their uncoumented novio/esposo fall in the same category as MOB relationships?

Clark did reference one source article that was somewhat more objective and level-headed.  She cherry-picked it, though, taking away from the report only those anecdotal cases needed to liven up her own testimony.  So, the substance of the following was never included:  

"So far, no definitive studies have confirmed the industry's bad rap. In the 1996 Mail-Order Bride Act, Congress directed the Department of Justice to investigate fraud and domestic violence in mail-order marriages. But immigration officials don't collect data on these relationships, so after three years of fact-gathering the DOJ could offer only preliminary and suspect statistics. Based on 266 immigration cases, a small sample, DOJ reported that matchmaking agencies did not play a significant role in marriage fraud. Investigators also found that mail-order brides suffer abuse LESS FREQUENTLY [my emphasis, as this contradicts Anderson's insinuation above] than homegrown wives. On the strength of anecdotal evidence that some mail-order brides are abused, however, the 1996 law required international marriage brokers to tell foreign brides about their rights to claim certain immigration benefits if they become victims of domestic violence."
http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/January-February-2004/story_labi_janfeb04.msp


By the way, for anyone who is curious, here's what qualifies as domestic violence.  (Keep this in mind as you wonder what kinds of questions the pollsters ask when conducting their "surveys"):

* Continually criticized you, called you names or shouted at you
* Insulted or driven away your friends or family
* Humiliated you in private or public
* Kept you from working, controlled your money or made all the decisions
* Refused to work or to share money
* Taken car keys or money from you
* Regularly threatened to leave or told you to leave
* Threatened to kidnap the children when the abuser was angry with you
* Abused pets to hurt you
* Manipulated you with lies and contradictions
http://www.therapistfinder.net/Domestic-Violence/Emotional-Abuse.html

So, even minor marrital squabbles fall under the category of "violence".  Feminists will insure that this ever-evolving list grows, and grows, and grows...

Good luck in your dating, chaps.  

Peace out!

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stefang
Guest
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to No-contest wins are a cinch in the MOB i..., posted by doombug on Jan 7, 2006

"* Continually criticized you, called you names or shouted at you" American women do this all the time to their husbands so now men can't say anything in an argument?

"* Insulted or driven away your friends or family" American women are good at driving friends away I know, most of my married friends I don't go see because I can't stand their b!tchy wives

"* Humiliated you in private or public" AW love to do this to try to project they are in charge of their husbands to other women.

"* Kept you from working, controlled your money or made all the decisions" AW do control the money their favorite saying, what is yours is mine what is mine is mine.

"* Refused to work or to share money" See above and AW have a choice in America, where AM have responsibilities.

"* Taken car keys or money from you" AW take money all the time from AM but worse they take your house keys when they divorce you.

"* Regularly threatened to leave or told you to leave" AW threaten to make you leave when their divorce lawyers are the first on speed dial.

"* Threatened to kidnap the children when the abuser was angry with you" AW do this as well if they threaten to dovorce you they tell you they will claim that you molested your children or threatened her life so you better be quiet and accept whatever her lawyer and courts decide to take from you.

"* Abused pets to hurt you" AW will do this to your favorite dog because she is jealous of anything that could like you.

"* Manipulated you with lies and contradictions " AW do this everyday and they have combined to offer VAWA as proof.

Since Feminism preaches women to be independent then they should refuse any form of money from a man because by the very laws of VAWA it would be buying their services to accept money, food, jewelry, clothes, home, car etc. from a man.

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doombug
Guest
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: No-contest wins are a cinch in the M..., posted by stefang on Jan 7, 2006

When I first saw that list, I was thinking some of the same things.  Almost anything a man does can be twisted into some form of emotional abuse/domestic violence.
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Ray
Guest
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to No-contest wins are a cinch in the MOB i..., posted by doombug on Jan 7, 2006

:-)
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doombug
Guest
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Good observations... n/t, posted by Ray on Jan 7, 2006

n/t
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JackofTrades
Guest
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: Re: IMBRA law... , posted by Gary Bala on Jan 7, 2006

Since you may be reading this, please be advised that I will be parading my beautiful slim foreign-born foreign-bred wife in front of your nose.  Despite any attempts to adjust your attitude or numerous liposuction treatments, you and your ilk will never measure up.  How many cats do you have now?
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doombug
Guest
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: IMBRA law... , posted by Ray on Jan 6, 2006

But those CR-1's emanate--further down the petition road--from the same K-visa applications (I-129F's) that we all start with.    

Right?

I would think that any mention of the "K" visa in IMBRA is simply a catch-all for whichever petition path the VAMP (Violent American Male Petitioner) embarks on.

The Steinems made this one escape proof.

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Ray
Guest
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2006, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: Re: IMBRA law... , posted by doombug on Jan 7, 2006

[This message has been edited by Ray]

The CR-1 is an IMMIGRANT visa for your spouse and is filed on Form I-130. K-1 and K-3 NONIMMIGRANT visas (and their derivatives) are filed on Form I-129F.

Regardless, the new law SPECIFICALLY states “K nonimmigrant visas” and does not mention CR-1 or SR-1 spousal immigrant visas. The only exception I saw was that the visa interviewing officer has to provide the pamphlet to family based immigrant visa applicants and discuss it with them. This presumably would include a spouse brother, sister, parent, or minor child (?).

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, so I could always be wrong (LOL)

Ray

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