news: Russian Strippers held up by Immigration

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Subject: news: Russian Strippers held up by Immigration
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Apr 07 1999 - 10:32:38 EDT


Russian Strippers held up by Immigration
Visas not granted: Government quietly keeping foreign dancers out, club
owners claim
By Veronique Mandal
The Windsor Star, April 6, 1999

WINDSOR, Ont. - Russian dancers scheduled to headline at a Windsor strip
club will not be taking their clothes off in the city because of a
crackdown by Canadian immigration officials.

"I had health card approvals for 27 dancers but they haven't been able to
get visas from Canadian officials at the consulate in Russia," said Rob
Katzman, owner of Leopard's Lounge and Broil.

Mr. Katzman isn't the only strip-club owner being thwarted by immigration.
Since January, 1998, few, if any, permits have been issued to dancers from
Eastern Europe. In previous years, the Canadian government has welcomed
about 400 exotic dancers a year from places such as Romania,
Czechoslovakia, and Poland.

The lure of big money entices young women away from stripping jobs in their
own countries, where they make as little as $5 per night. Dancers in
Windsor can make $2,000 or more per week depending on the number of shifts
they work

Club owners claim the government has been quietly making it more and more
difficult for the dancers to get visas to work in the estimated 200 strip
bars throughout Ontario.

Joe Falconi, who owns J.R.'s Tavern in Chatham, Ont., says the agency he
uses to supply him with 15 to 20 dancers per week, mostly from Eastern
Europe, is seeing its roster diminish."It has become very hard in the last
five months," said Mr. Falconi. "There are just not enough local dancers
available."

Immigration officials were not available for comment.

Melanie Orhant

Co-Director
Human Trafficking Program
Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214
Washington, DC 20009
T: 387-0028
F: 387-2590
Email: morhant@igc.org
www.globalsurvival.net


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