Online Dating Rights. Mail Order Brides

FOUR REASONS American men seek romance abroad: Prague, Ha Long Bay, Red Square, small villages in Latin America. Somehow meeting a Czech, Vietnamese, Russian or Peruvian/Colombian/Brazilian woman for a date at one of these exotic places is incomparably more exciting than meeting a hometown girl at the local coffeeshop. Opponents of a man's right to meet foreign women online never stop to consider how enjoyable it is to travel/work/live abroad and learn new cultures and languages while seeking a marriage partner.
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Author Topic: The Fallacy Of Mail Order Bride Trafficking  (Read 78137 times)
Jr. Member
Posts: 83


« on: December 04, 2006, 01:14:38 PM »

One of the most frequent claims of the proponents of IMBRA is that the international dating agencies are involved in human trafficking.  First of all, it is important to define exactly what human trafficking is.  Amy O’Neill Richard of the State Department has defined human trafficking in the following terms by quoting the President’s Interagency Council on Women.  This is the definition of human trafficking:

“Trafficking is all acts involved in the recruitment, abduction, transport, harboring, transfer, sale or receipt of persons; within national or across international borders; through force, coercion, fraud or deception; to place person in situations of slavery or slavery-like conditions, forced labor or servitude, bonded sweatshop labor or other debt bondage.

It seems extreme, to say the least, that the feminist lobby thinks that the international dating agencies are involved in this type of behavior.  The truth of the matter is that they do at the very least insinuate this.  And they make this insinuation frequently.

In her Senate testimony, Michele Clark of Johns Hopkins University insinuated that international dating agencies are contributing to the problem of human trafficking.  She didn’t provide any statistical data to substantiate this insinuation.  In describing the “mail order bride” industry she made the following statement:

“In countries around the world, we see how economic and social collapse, civil war and natural disasters have been used as vehicles to deceive, entrap and enslave vulnerable women and children into lives of cruel exploitation. Traffickers capitalize on desperation and need; they also exploit normal desires for a better life, for hope, for the fulfillment of dreams.

So it is not surprising that the industry of marriage should become a vehicle for exploitation. Nor is it surprising that the Internet, because of its immediacy, promises of anonymity and lack of accountability, should become the vehicle of choice for this exploitation to take place.” [2]

It can be seen that she is clearly trying to establish a link between the international dating agencies and human trafficking.  However, this linkage is tenuous at best. In her testimony, she didn’t even elaborate on how the international dating agencies would accomplish this.  Notice in the following statement that she tries to create linkage between the international dating agencies and human trafficking:

“Most matchmaking organizations make their profits from the arrangement of marriages between two worlds – the first and the third. Similar to the trafficking in persons industry, husbands tend to come from wealthy, stable economies, while the brides originate from economically unstable or vulnerable environments. Additionally, the mail-order brides are in conditions of economic vulnerability before and after their marriage to their first-world husbands. Most women search for a husband abroad out of economic need, as demonstrated by the one-way direction of the marriages – no websites exist advertising American or German women as mail-order brides in El Salvador or the Ukraine, for example. However, when these brides find themselves married in the first world, they are dependent economically on their husbands especially in the early days of their lives in a new country. They thus continue to face economic vulnerability and dependency until the time comes when they are able to support themselves financially.

At best, the testimony is accusing “mail order bride” clients of exploiting the poverty of foreign women.  It is presumed that the only reason that foreign women are pursuing American men is for personal gain.  Notice, that nothing in the statement fits well with the definition of human trafficking.  This is common in feminist literature.

The whole concept of human trafficking makes some basic fundamental presumptions.  All of these presumptions are based upon generalizations.  First, it presumes that there are many American men who are seeking foreign wives so that they can become domestic servants and/or sex slaves.  The author is not aware of any study that has found this to be true.  Second, this broad based desire is being coordinated and satisfied by a well organized consortium of international dating agencies that are seeking to conceal the true intentions of these men; and who are intentionally deceiving foreign women in these international dating agencies about the intentions of these men.  This whole enterprise has been deftly concealed within the broadly accessible confines of the Internet.  If this sounds conspicuously paranoid, well it is.

Human trafficking for the most part involves crime syndicates who are well organized in what they are doing.  They do not operate in the open like international dating agencies do.  They largely attract their victims through front organizations, and their clients are relatively limited.  The thought that such an enterprise could be undertaken when there are so many international dating agencies and individual “mail order bride” clients is preposterous.  If this process is occurring, it is being undertaken on an individual level by large numbers of American men.  It would mean that there are large numbers of individual men here in the United States who are independently deciding to engage in individualized trafficking in foreign women.  Any person with any semblance of intelligence could see how nonsensical this proposition is.

That posits the question who is largely involved in human trafficking in the United States.  Amy O’Neill Richard of the State Department has given the following answer:

“In reviewing the major trafficking cases in the United States since 1990, the perpetrators tended to be smaller crime groups, smuggling rings, gangs, loosely linked criminal networks, and corrupt individuals who tended to victimize their own nationals.

That doesn’t sound like “mail order bride” clients.  Ms Richard went on to state that Russian and Asian crime syndicates are involved in human trafficking here in the United States.  We can safely assume that the average thirty eight year old male who is looking for a wife on Cherry Blossoms is probably not trying to engage in the trafficking of human beings.  There is a relatively good possibility that he probably doesn’t like feminism though.  That seems to be the feminists lobby’s only justification for why he is a “trafficker”.

Jeanne Smoot of the Tahirih Justice Center has stated that “mail order brides” may become victims of human trafficking [5].  Yes, that is true, and her point is exactly what?  Any human being has the potential of being a victim of human trafficking.  Simply making that statement doesn’t really establish anything.  Obviously, the potential for this exists.  What has not been established is its frequency.  Thus far there is no conclusive evidence that the international dating agencies are involved in human trafficking.  

The closest thing that can approximate this is the fact that in the Russian Federation apparently many of the international matchmaking agencies have ties with the Russian mafia.  Russian crime syndicates will target women in the agencies.  This practice has nothing to do with American men.  They will make offers to the women for work or other enticements, and then sell the women into bondage.  What is important to note is that this occurs in Eastern Europe, not in the United States [6].  IMBRA will not do anything to stop this.  In fact, since the law only applies to American men, it is completely useless in this regard.  If anything, by the “de facto” effect of discouraging American men from pursuing Eastern European women, it will most likely increase the problem of human trafficking in the former Soviet Union.  It will limit the options of these women and make the enticements of organized crime more appealing.  

That brings up the interesting question of how feminists are combating human trafficking by attacking the international dating agencies.  By making it more difficult for American men to meet and marry foreign women, apparently the feminist lobby believes that it will be combating human trafficking.  They don’t elaborate on this.  In fact, they probably cannot.  Why is it that they are so intent on requiring such rigorous mandatory background checks on American men who want to marry foreign women through international dating agencies.  After all, they don’t want any background checks on themselves.  What?  Why was that brought up?  Well, quite simply because American feminism is apparently contributing to the problem.  When Michele Clark was asked which group in the United States was responsible for unconsciously contributing to human trafficking, this is what she said:

“Well there is a very interesting article in the most recent edition of the Atlantic Monthly called “How Serfdom Saved the Women’s Movement” [Caitlin Flanagan, The Atlantic Monthly, March 2004]. Actually, it’s the cover story. And she steps in where a woman named Barbara Ehrenreich basically also went in a book called “Global Women: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy” and raises some very interesting questions. Basically the gist of this is that American feminism survived once it went from the effort to work for women’s solidarity in general and women’s rights and women’s empowerment in general to the empowerment of the individual, the idea, you know, of the Wonder Woman [holds up picture of Wonder Woman] or the Superwoman. The “having it all.” So American feminism went the direction of most things American, individual superdome, superstardom, super empowerment at interesting costs. And this [article] talks about how much of that empowerment in contemporary terms has happened because the only way their families are taken care of is through the labor of foreign women. Cheap labor of foreign women. And in many cases it’s legal. In many cases it’s quite legal and many of these women do follow the IRS and the social security regulations and pay them wages and you don’t have the Linda Chavez cases. We’re talking about, in many cases, legal situations that contribute to this phenomenon, that is very disturbing to me, of the encouragement of individuals in developing countries to seek employment in developed countries.” [7]

In fact, this actually fits in more neatly with the conception of trafficking.  Perhaps it is more acceptable to the feminists that foreign women come into the United States as their domestic maids and nannies, rather than as wives of American men.


1. Amy O’Neill Richard, “International Trafficking in Women to the United States:
    A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime,” Center for the    
    Study of Intelligence, November 1999

2. Michele A. Clark, Testimony before U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign
    Relations, “Mail-Order Brides: Exploited Dreams,” July 13, 2004.

3. Michele A. Clark, Testimony before U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign
     Relations, “Mail-Order Brides: Exploited Dreams,” July 13, 2004.
4. Amy O’Neill Richard, “International Trafficking in Women to the United States:  
    A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime,” Center for the  
    Study of Intelligence, November 1999,

5. Jeanne L. Smoot, “Marriage Broker Law Seeks to Protect Readily Exploited
    Women,” Cumberland Times News, July 11, 2006.

6. Amy O’Neill Richard, “International Trafficking in Women to the United States:  
    A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime,” Center for the  
    Study of Intelligence, November 1999,

7. Andy Barnes, “An Interview with Michele Clark,”,
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 02:45:42 PM by NewTaylor » Logged

IMBRA isn't fair:  ?
Posts: 37


« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006, 06:02:27 PM »

New Taylor; awsome literary to hear TJC's comeback to your post....
Posts: 31

« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2006, 08:22:43 PM »

Fantasic and accurate analysis!

The feminist lobbyist groups often make claims suggesting  IMO facilitated marriages favor the male who can abuse and use these women for sexual services suggesting a potential for exploitation and then subtly suggesting a connection to trafficking. They often portray these International marriages as something akin to slavery (a form of trafficking) that must be regulated often in hopes of creating a hysteria.  But this is not slavery, nor is it trafficking of women. Its simply 2 people coming together because both of them want a better life working together to have a wonderful family.  If this is trafficking then all the women in the world who are married would be a victim of trafficking!
Proponents of IMBRA are well aware that the public’s perception on the issue of matchmaking organizations is  misguided and poorly understood and easily manipulated.  Lisa Simmons was a feminist who wrote a doctoral thesis at Colorado University in June  2001. Lisa stated that “public opinion on this topic  amounts to a belief that marriages resulting from matchmaking are at best illicit, fraudulent forms of Immigration, or at worst a legal form of prostitution”.  She went on to explain that  the public mistakenly believes there are power imbalances in these relationships and that the "domineering husband" in these relationships is a myth. Ms. Simmons claims that "Rather than these women being vulnerable" (to trafficking  and other abuses)as some feminist lobbyist have suggested these women are in fact risk takers, self confident and  resourceful.

Senator Sam Brownback  (IMBRA sponsor)also recently implied that International marriages involving matchmaking organizations are in reality a "power imbalance".  (He failed to provide any empirical evidence)
Jr. Member
Posts: 83


« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2006, 09:05:30 PM »


The thing that I find so disturbing is that I am using the very articles that were referenced by feminists to justify IMBRA to prove my point.  I read far more articles than I referenced.  There is no evidence that the international dating agencies are involved in human trafficking.  In fact, the claims are ridiculous.

What does this say about the intelligence of the members of Congress that approved of this law?  They are either completely stupid, or they don’t have any common sense.  Of course, there are less flattering explanations for why they voted this law (IMBRA) into existence.

As far as Senator Brownback’s comment on an alleged power imbalance in the relationships fostered by “marriage brokers”, that is just silly.  Most American women marry men that make more money than they do.  In fact, many American women are completely dependant on their husbands for financial support.  That is a power imbalance.  Does that mean that most American men abuse their American wives?   Are these American men engaging in the trafficking of American women?  Perhaps Senator Brownback would like to answer these questions.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 09:07:28 PM by NewTaylor » Logged

IMBRA isn't fair:  ?
Hero Member
Posts: 1204

This is a subway in Russia. Poor country?


« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2006, 10:58:33 PM »

Yes, but according to Tim, asking Senator Brownback any questions would "obnoxious."

According to Tim, people like Brownback should be allowed to state their opinions without 8-10 "regulars" asking them for clarification.

Honest journalists will see the Tahirih Justice Center as a front for the NOW that appeals to conservative "Security Moms". and Yahoo and MySpace are actually working for total Internet regulation because they don't want clients to be anonymous and they want small dating sites/forums dead.
Jr. Member
Posts: 74


« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2006, 12:01:13 AM »

Quote from: NewTaylor
Perhaps it is more acceptable to the feminists that foreign women come into the United States as their domestic maids and nannies, rather than as wives of American men.
TOUCHE'! A body blow to the Brown Skirts.

The reason is clear though. Maids and nannies aren't competition. Wives are.
Jr. Member
Posts: 83


« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2006, 12:50:28 AM »

Quote from: JohnReeds
TOUCHE'! A body blow to the Brown Skirts.

The reason is clear though. Maids and nannies aren't competition. Wives are.


Exactly.  If my memory serves me correctly, a feminist posted on one of the blogs that the purpose of IMBRA (being a “de facto” ban) on marrying foreign women, was to censure the awareness among American men that there is actually an alternative to feminist women.  Of course, they (feminists) don’t seem to mind “trafficking” foreign women into the United States to do their housework for them.

Most of the “human trafficking” into the United States probably involves all of the illegal aliens entering our country.  Millions of these people are entering the United States and entering into economic circumstances that often probably border on peonage.  Interestingly enough, our government refuses to do anything about this.  On the other hand, if 10,000 foreign women enter the United States every year via international dating agencies to marry American men, well whoa we have to do something about that.  What hypocrisy!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2006, 12:53:17 AM by NewTaylor » Logged

IMBRA isn't fair:  ?
Hero Member
Posts: 1204

This is a subway in Russia. Poor country?


« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2006, 01:37:23 PM »

Good points. I see it as a little more complicated, however.

Many men (and I am not including myself whenever I get married) would have no problem sleeping with nannies and maids if the nannies and maids were receptive.

So only those slaves from certain countries are chosen by the American wife, where the feminists in general have already indoctrinated the would-be peons not to ever give pleasure to or make an older white male happy.

Usually these women are from left-wing nations like 18 year old Swedish nanny could also be counted on (relatively speaking) to be repulsed at the idea of sleeping with an American woman's rich, good-looking American husband.

But a 19 year old Ukrainian nanny? No way in Hell would she be allowed near a husband.

It is no accident that IMBRA tries to protect foreign women from married men as opposed to abusive men. A major goal of feminism is to stop married men from cheating. It may seem like an illogical goal of a movement that once had more serious and attainable goals...but it is logical when one considers that this kind of goal helps most in raking in donations for feminist organizations.

What I am saying is as true as saying that oxygen and nitrogen are in the air we breathe.

There is a very conscious process of choosing nannies and maids only from "dependable" countries.

That being said, has anyone ever heard of stories where a Mexican maid decided to end her servitude by overthrowing the wife and taking her place?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 09:44:22 AM by VeteransAbroad » Logged

Honest journalists will see the Tahirih Justice Center as a front for the NOW that appeals to conservative "Security Moms". and Yahoo and MySpace are actually working for total Internet regulation because they don't want clients to be anonymous and they want small dating sites/forums dead.
Posts: 31

« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2006, 07:56:30 PM »

New Taylor,
  Your research  study clearly reveals a strategy IMBRA supporters have used successfully by citing  their so- called anecdotal evidence which is in reality nothing more than emotional propoganda.  This is exactly the process feminist lobbying groups used to suggest marriage brokers were associated with human trafficking.  The central issue here is whether or not  the anecdotal evidence (propoganda) they have is sufficient to prove that IMB’s  have been involved in human trafficking of women.  IMBRA supporters more than likely will attempt to trick the public with their anecdotal evidence (propoganda) by suggesting women who marry IMB clients are poor, docile  and easily manipulated claiming  this is a recipe for disaster - a power imbalance with the relationship being skewed  in favor of the husband who is “seen as purchasing a  bride”. (notice the subtle claim of modern day slavery with no empirical evidence.)
That last sentence (anecdotal evidence)was also stated in the 1999 INS study.
Senator Brownback (lead sponsor of IMBRA) made a statement in the NY Times suggesting IMB brides need protecting citing a “power imbalance”.  Senator Brownback  a future presidential contender  also fails to supply any empirical evidence. Apparently  Senator Brown  thinks the Tahirih Justice Center  (including Jeanne Smoot) are “Frontline experts” . These  frontline experts however  have failed to supply any accurate empirical evidence demonstrating a  problem  exists (abuse and or human trafficking) with marriage brokers and their clients.

 Emotional propaganda… Anecdotal suggestions..  In the  fall of 2005, Tahirih Justice Center and other supporters of IMBRA  partnered with Lifetime Television Network, a Television  Network for Women, a TV station that airs programs primarily with plots and themes of domestic abuse and victimization of women.

One poster “ambro” repeatedly posted  a PR  previously released on July 3, 2004 suggesting a correlation between Marriage Brokers and Human trafficking rings.

 Read what this  feminist “insider”  says about the law:

“Strategic linking of marriage brokers with human trafficking rings aids in  gaining bipartisan support for a law intent on  eliminating international Matchmaking companies and websites”. The Human Trafficking Lifetime movie series is an ideal venue for promoting this campaign”.

A discussion forum user by the name of Ambro posted this comment in response to  another user  named skeptic on Lifetime TV’s message boards discussing their mini series, “Human trafficking”.

“I’m glad you are finally getting it and everyone else on this board is finally understanding. The Tahirih Justice Center and other groups are using the emotional propaganda generated by this mini series to finally get the Marriage Broker Regulation passed. The International matchmaking websites must be eliminated by any means possible, even with a law that violates the civil rights of American men…”

The quotes above occurred in fall of 2005 shortly before the International marriage Broker was passed  on December 17, 2005. The law was passed without any debate or questions answered by an unrecorded and
Undemocratic voice vote.
Posts: 18


« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2007, 01:41:18 PM »

Strategic linking of marriage brokers with human trafficking rings aids in  gaining bipartisan support for a law intent on  eliminating international Matchmaking companies and websites”. The Human Trafficking Lifetime movie series is an ideal venue for promoting this campaign

I  wonder if anybody is familiar Congressional  Testimony of Ms. Suzanne  Jackson that established the  relationship  between "Mail-order-bride" industry and sex trafficking.  This document was offered in Encounters Federal trial case as  a proof  that Encounters as part  of this industry needs  to be convicted. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Statement of Ms. Suzanne Jackson Associate Professor of Clinical Law George
Washington University Law School Washington, DC Committee on Senate Foreign

July 13, 2004

Thank you to Senator Brownback and to the rest of the Committee for the opportunity
to testify today. My name is Suzanne Jackson, and I am an Associate Professor of
Clinical Law at George Washington Law School. Before becoming a law professor, I
worked as an attorney here in the District of Columbia, representing immigrants and
refugees seeking to escape abusive relationships. Most of my clients did not speak
much English, and had to overcome many obstacles before they could be free of the
threat of domestic violence. Two of my clients had met their husbands through "mailorder
bride" companies, and it is because of the particular hardships they endured
within the legal system that I began to research the relationship between the "mailorder
bride" industry and trafficking in women.
The legal landscape has, on the
whole, improved significantly since those days, thanks in great part to the work of
this Committee in conducting hearings on and shaping the Trafficking Victims
Protection Act of 2000.

I will refer to the companies as international matchmaking organizations or IMOs
rather than "mail-order bride" agencies, even though the term IMO inaccurately
conveys gender neutrality and a "match" or some level of equality between the
parties. Nothing could be further from the truth: IMOs exist for the benefit of
their paying customers: men 1 from wealthy nations, including the United States,
Japan and Germany, who want access to women who, most often, have neither economic
nor social power. Marketing strategies used by IMOs advertise women as generic to
their ethnicity - all Russian women are X, all Asian women are Y, all Latinas are Z
- and emphasize that the women they offer (women who are in fact hoping to leave
their home countries) will all be "home-oriented" and "traditional" wives. Some
companies guarantee women's availability, others guarantee marriage within a year of
subscribing to their service, one even allows a man to remove a woman from the
website to prevent competition during a courtship: 'Select One, She's Yours,"
promises this company.

IMOs have been linked to criminal trafficking in several ways[/u]. They can be nothing
more than fronts for criminal trafficking organizations, in which adults and girls
are offered to the public as brides but sold privately into prostitution,
into marriage (including marriages to men who then prostitute them),3 or held in
domestic slavery.

Police in the United Kingdom found organized criminal gangs from Russia, the former
Soviet Union and the Balkans using the Internet to advertise women for sale to
brothels in Western Europe and also to men as"internet brides."4 A study by Global
Survival Network (GSN) found that most mail-order bride agencies in Russia have
expanded their activities to include trafficking for prostitution
. European
embassies have reported that a number of matchmaking agencies conceal organized
prostitution rings victimizing newly-arrived Filipina women. Asian groups have used
fiancee visas and marriage with a so-called "jockey" (an escort bringing women
across the U.S. border) to bring women into the U.S. for purposes of prostitution;5
jockeys have even included U.S. military personnel posted abroad.

IMOs are almost completely unregulated, advertise minors for marriage, and fail to
screen their male clients for criminal histories. IMO practices exacerbate problems
with false expectations: they require women to complete long questionnaires asking
intrusive personal questions, encouraging disclosure by implying or stating that
false answers could lead to cancellation of any ensuing immigration benefits. Women
are also subjected to medical and background checks, and may assume that
participating men are evaluated with the same level of scrutiny. Women from other
countries often assume that all governmental agencies in the United States - a
country with extraordinary resources and technology - have access to information
held by other agencies, that facts asserted in applications for immigration benefits
would be checked, and that a man who had been convicted of serious violent crimes
would not be permitted to bring a spouse or fiancee into the U.S. from abroad. The
industry does nothing, however, to screen male customers: no detailed questionnaire,
no check for a criminal record for spousal or child abuse, no formal inquiry as to
whether men are already married. Until recently, the U.S. government also did not
conduct these inquiries.

An IMO can also be a useful tool of, and sometimes a knowing collaborator with, an
individual man who wishes to obtain control over a woman in order to exploit her
. A
U.S. citizen can use isolation, domination, and threats of deportation to get an
immigrant woman to perform domestic and sexual services on demand. One commentator
in an Internet discussion of the pros and cons of paying for a"mail-order" bride,
pointed out that it can be much less expensive to purchase a wife than to pay for
prostitution services, which don't also include free housekeeping and cooking. Men
have also used imprisonment and vicious violence to sexually exploit and prostitute
young women.

One Honduran woman was kept a prisoner - together with the U.S. citizen's wife - in
a man's home by bars on the windows; another was kept in the house on an ankle
chain; one 17-.year old from the Phillipines was abused, sexually exploited, and
then pimped into prostitution.6 Because of these practices, the CIA found
that"[m]ail order bride brokers. . .are not traffickers per se; but, where there is
deception or fraudulent non-disclosure of known facts concerning the nature of the
relationship being entered into or the criminal or abusive background of the client,
the brokers should be liable as traffickers."7

Individuals using IMOs to find women whom they prostitute to others or use as their
own "personal prostitutes"8 or domestic servants should be criminally liable as
traffickers on the same theory. Knowing deception - fraud - used intentionally to
cause a woman or girl to travel to the U.S. and perhaps even to marry, in order to
mistreat and exploit her for personal profit or gain, is no less criminal
trafficking in persons when accomplished by an individual instead of an
organization. Although the Department of Justice is enforcing the criminal laws
against international travel for purposes of having sex with a child, not one sex
trafficking case has been brought against an individual who has used a mail-order
bride organization to obtain and sexually exploit a vulnerable immigrant woman.9

Abusive IMO-arranged marriages should be evaluated for evidence of criminal
Consider the following examples:

A U.S. citizen puts new locks on the outside of his doors, and installs a security
system with keyed window locks. He searches the Internet for the youngest possible
girls available on mail- order bride Web sites. He pays a company's $4,500 fee,
travels abroad, proposes marriage to a young woman, and brings his prospective wife
to the U.S. with a fiancee visa. When they arrive at his home, he takes her down to
the basement and terrorizes her, keeping her locked there for weeks. When he
believes that she is too afraid to try to escape, he allows her out of the basement
but not out of the house, forcing her to do housework and have sex with him on

A U.S. citizen lives in a remote, rural area, and accomplishes the above with
repeated physical and sexual abuse, but without need for locks, as the nearest house
is thirty miles away

Add to the facts in both scenarios above that the citizen forces a woman to have sex
with other men who pay him for the privilege.

Add to the facts in any scenario that instead of using a fiancee visa to secure a
woman's entry into the U.S., the man marries her abroad and brings her to the U.S.
as his wife. These scenarios, distilled from actual cases,10 all fulfill the
elements of the federal crime of forced labor: domestic labor or sexual services
intentionally obtained by the use of physical restraint and threats of serious harm.
They should also satisfy the elements of criminal sex trafficking, if the required
element of 'commercial sex act" is interpreted on the basis of the statutory
language rather than a myopic intepretation focusing exclusively on brothel-based
prostitution or monetary transactions. Commercial sex is defined in the Trafficking
Victims Protection Act as "any sex act, on account of which anything of value is
given to or received by any person."

When an IMO sells a young woman for sexual purposes, as in a Web page openly
offering sex with fifteen- to seventeen-year old Thai girls, boasting that a girl
could be delivered "anywhere in the world," charging extra to deliver a virgin, and
also offered girls for sale outright - pay $4,000 more, the company promised,"and
then she is like your slave forever."11 - this is clearly commercial sex
trafficking. If both parties to the sale know that the person will be forced or
coerced to have sex, both are sex traffickers. The formality of a marriage or a
supposed engagement to marry should not blind us to the federal crimes of sex
trafficking, forced labor and involuntary servitude: when a citizen threatens to
revoke an application for a green card unless an immigrant submits to sex, the
valuable consideration of legal residency in the United States fulfills both the
"commercial sex" requirement and the coercion requirement of the criminal sex
trafficking statute. The same applies in the context of sexual exploitation of
domestic workers, migrant workers, sweatshop workers, or any instance where sex is
coerced or forced through threats of deportation, so that a person is led to believe
that on account of the sex act, the person will receive respite from threats of
deportation.12 The criminal penalties for sex trafficking should be brought to bear
against individuals who use IMOs to extort sex and domestic services from individual
brought into the U.S. through fiancee visas or through marriage

IMOs also camouflage trafficking indirectly by inflating the number of visa
applicants, which reduces governmental resources to evaluate individuals' requests
for fiancee visas. Until recenty, U.S. immigration authorities conducted no
investigation of applicants for fiancee or spousal visas, not requiring any
background criminal check, not asking whether the petitioner is legally able to
marry, not even checking its own records to see if an applicant previously
petitioned for another person. During the 1970s and 1980s, an average of 5,300
fiancee petitions were filed each year, about 1,100 of which did not result in an
adjustment to permanent resident status. During the 1990s, however, the number of
fiancee petitions rose to 6,400 per year while adjustments remained the same. The
number of missing or rejected fiancees had apparently doubled in a decade, averaging
about 2,200 a year. A report by the INS noted that traffickers were interested in
sending women to the U.S. because fiancee visas were easy to obtain, but did not
observe that the rise in "missing" or rejected fiancees was itself evidence of

Since the tragedy of September 11 th , the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration
Services has increased scrutiny of all petitioners and beneficiaries of petitions
for immigration benefits, including petitions for fiance visas and marriage-based
adjustment, and although implementation of these changes is only just beginning,
they have reportedly already found much of interest as a result of these
investigations. Senator Cantwell has made several excellent proposals to change the
process for obtaining a fiancee visa, which if enacted and implemented would place
minimal burdens on the IMOs and on the participants in the process, while likely
preventing some serious abuses of the system. But even enacting such a law will
accomplish nothing if Congress is not prepared to ensure that the laws are
implemented by the Executive Branch. This is not the first piece of legislation
recognizing and attempting to address problems in the IMO industry. So many serious
abuses were noted against "mail- order brides" in the U.S. that Congress in 1996
ordered IMOs to provide information to their "recruits" on their rights under U.S.
laws. Eight years later, this law is still not implemented or enforced.14 The
comment period for the proposed regulation expired in 1997, yet the June 23, 2004
Federal Register announced that the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will not be issued
until sometime in December of this year
[/b] (Encounters was charged and convicted for supposedly not obiding to the law that had not been  implemented at the time of the trial  nor had it ever been  emplemented since IMBRA replaced  it altogether shortly after the trial. Added by the Moscownights). Senator Cantwell's legislation asks the
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services to complete a study of the IMO
industry and the extent of its compliance with the new requirements within two years
of the legislation's enactment, but if the regulations are not in place to ensure
that Congress1 enactments have the force of law, this study and the other reforms
contemplated, will be meaningless.

Thank you for the Committee's efforts to combat trafficking and abuses of the
international matchmaking industry, for the invitation to appear before you today,
and for your consideration of my testimony.

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