Monday, September 16, 2019

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Article Index

IV. International Marriage Broker Regulation Act

A. Goals of IMBRA

The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005 was enacted to protect noncitizens who meet and marry U.S. citizens through marriage brokers and internet dating services. IMBRA provides noncitizens certain information about their U.S. citizen spouse, their rights, and resources for victims of violence. The purported reason for the Act was to prevent violence against women after two widely publicized stories involving citizen men who had murdered their foreign wives whom they met through IMBs.

In effect, though, IMBRA burdens American men who choose to meet women through IMBs, forces couples to conduct their courtship and marriage in ways determined by Congress, and yet does not regulate men who may use other dating services, even though they may be as likely to perpetrate violence. While attempting to protect foreign women, Congress is in fact making it more difficult for them to immigrate to the United States through the added burdens it is placing on the men who would sponsor them.

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Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law

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