Subject: NEWS: INS Reports to Congress on Mail-Order Bride Businesses
From: Jyothi Kanics (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Mar 11 1999 - 15:34:11 EST
The press release summarizing the report's findings follows:
March 4, 1999
INS Reports to Congress on Mail-Order Bride Businesses
WASHINGTON — The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) last
released a report to Congress which indicates that the number of
matchmaking organizations, commonly known as mail-order bride
businesses, is growing
rapidly. Congress mandated the report, under Section 652 of the 1996
Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, because of concern that the
matchmaking industry — which is unregulated — may exploit women and
While INS does not gather information directly related to mail-order
marriages, a review
of the agency’s records found that less than 1 percent of the domestic
violence cases now
being brought to the attention of the INS can be identified
definitively as relating to the
mail-order bride industry. Similarly, only 1 percent of cases that
appeared to involve
marriage fraud could be linked to this industry.
The report, which is available on the INS Web site at
www.ins.usdoj.gov, also indicates
More than 200 international matchmaking organizations operated in
States in 1998, and the number is growing.
These organizations bring together approximately 4,000 to 6,000
who marry and petition for immigration of the female spouse to
the United States.
This volume represents between 3 and 4 percent of the direct
immigration of female
spouses to this country and only 0.4 percent of all immigration
to the United States.
Most of the women come from the Philippines or from the newly
of the former Soviet Union.
To prepare the report INS did extensive research and compiled a vast
array of information
that already exists on the subject. In addition, INS contracted with
an academic expert,
Robert J. Scholes of the University of Florida, to provide an estimate
of the number of
mail-order bride marriages. INS also reviewed a sample of its records
to determine the
extent of domestic violence and marriage fraud within such marriages.
Moreover, to gather as much information as possible from divergent
July 16, 1997, INS published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
in the Federal
Register to solicit input from the public. INS received responses from
individuals who have
used mail-order bride businesses with both favorable and unfavorable
results, owners who
defended their right to conduct such businesses, advocacy groups
immigrant women, and academics who have conducted research in the field.
To further comply with the statute, INS is drafting a proposed rule to
matchmaking organizations to provide information to their recruits on
their rights and
obligations under U.S. immigration law. The proposed rule is expected
to be published in
the Federal Register this summer.
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