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daresie

IMBRA Article in NY Times

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Saw this article about IMBRA in the NY Times today.

http://tinyurl.com/y5xo7r

Unfortunately it doesn't discuss enough the decision to invoke the IMBRA legislation on cases already approved months ago, and the delays that this caused. I feel the IMBRA law makes sense, but it was it's application that affected so many people.

It's still interesting reading though, although there's an assumption that it is only men that petition for foreign fiancee's. I came over on a K1 to marry my fiancee, and I'm a guy, and it wasn't 'mail order'.

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"“It all started with women’s lib,” said Sam Smith, a former salesman of insurance and mutual funds, who founded I Love Latins in Houston six years ago. “Guys are sick and tired of the North American me, me, me attitude.’ ”"

You know, just once, I wish they'd profile a couple that met while studying abroad or on Yahoo, because quite frankly, no one cares if some white, middle-aged bitter divorcée gets his woman whom the translator assures loves him here on time. He's not a sympathetic character, and frankly, the article reads like anyone upset about IMBRA is some loser whiner who wants a foreign bride because if she leaves him, she won't be able to get his money.

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To be clear, not calling Mr. Weaver a whiner or a loser, just that the article doesn't come off flattering to visa petitioners or reflecting reality.

Because anyone who reads this in the NYT who isn't going through this process will think 'Gee, why should I worry about IMBRA, it's only creeps who hate American women who bother to look overseas anyway.'

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...Because anyone who reads this in the NYT who isn't going through this process will think 'Gee, why should I worry about IMBRA, it's only creeps who hate American women who bother to look overseas anyway.'

I agree. I went through the K1 process this summer, and the delays made it a horrific experience (especially as my wedding is next week!), but this article even leaves me feeling completely unsympathetic.

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"“It all started with women’s lib,” said Sam Smith, a former salesman of insurance and mutual funds, who founded I Love Latins in Houston six years ago. “Guys are sick and tired of the North American me, me, me attitude.’ ”"

You know, just once, I wish they'd profile a couple that met while studying abroad or on Yahoo, because quite frankly, no one cares if some white, middle-aged bitter divorcée gets his woman whom the translator assures loves him here on time. He's not a sympathetic character, and frankly, the article reads like anyone upset about IMBRA is some loser whiner who wants a foreign bride because if she leaves him, she won't be able to get his money.

I totally agree with you. That article completely rubbed me the wrong way. We had to wait 5 months for our NOA2 because of the IMBRA backlog! and for what? I have nothing to do with marriage brokers or internet dating, in fact I'm a woman applying for a man. I don't think people who actually met their significant other in real life should be categorized with men who troll for women on the internet. I wish they would have profiled someone whose visa was innocently held up because of it.

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daresie,

Thanks for bringing the article to our attention. I thought it was well balanced, although so brief as to only touch superficially on a few points. Hence the complaints against it by some posters.

The sentence that has got me wondering is this one, "In 1998, fewer than 2,500 foreign women applied to become permanent residents under the Violence Against Women Act, which allows abused wives to apply for residence without the support of their husbands. In the fiscal year that ended in September, 9,500 applied. " I wonder how much of the dramatic increase in VAWA claims is due to real abuse and how much is due to the fact that a claim of abuse can improve the odds of getting someone a green card who wouldn't otherwise qualify?

I'm sure that much of the increase is due to true abuse, but I also suspect that much of the increase is driven by opportunism, so the statistic - and the basis for IMBRA - is inflated to some extent.

Yodrak

Saw this article about IMBRA in the NY Times today.

http://tinyurl.com/y5xo7r

Unfortunately it doesn't discuss enough the decision to invoke the IMBRA legislation on cases already approved months ago, and the delays that this caused. I feel the IMBRA law makes sense, but it was it's application that affected so many people.

It's still interesting reading though, although there's an assumption that it is only men that petition for foreign fiancee's. I came over on a K1 to marry my fiancee, and I'm a guy, and it wasn't 'mail order'.

Edited by Yodrak

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That's a hard call. Is the rise in cases because women are lying, or because there was no well-publicized option for an abused woman who didn't speak English well who believed she'd be deported if she left? I'm inclined towards the latter for no terribly good reason except that every other damn thing in this process has to be documented, so it seems that unlikely that someone could claim abuse without something like a police report.

Either way, I'm glad IMBRA was passed, and I don't mind the extra question on the form, but it was implemented horribly. To get the implementation fixed is going to require negative public attention, but that's not going to happen if it's perceived as just a problem for mail order bride seekers.

And what got me, is that if my mom reads the article in the paper, even knowing a bit about my process, she won't realize that such a hang-up applies to me because the article didn't profile anyone who wasn't about the needforeignbride.com thingy.

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The sentence that has got me wondering is this one, "In 1998, fewer than 2,500 foreign women applied to become permanent residents under the Violence Against Women Act, which allows abused wives to apply for residence without the support of their husbands. In the fiscal year that ended in September, 9,500 applied. " I wonder how much of the dramatic increase in VAWA claims is due to real abuse and how much is due to the fact that a claim of abuse can improve the odds of getting someone a green card who wouldn't otherwise qualify?

I'm sure that much of the increase is due to true abuse, but I also suspect that much of the increase is driven by opportunism, so the statistic - and the basis for IMBRA - is inflated to some extent.

Yodrak

I think the NY Times article is anything but sympathetic to couples affected by IMBRA and the answer to the issue of increasing reported abuse can be found in the article. It reads...

Helped by the Internet, international matchmaking has mushroomed. In 1999, a report by the immigration service found some 200 international dating agencies in the United States. A study in 2004 found 500.

The immigration service said 37,500 women entered the country last year on fiancée visas or temporary visas for spouses of American citizens. That was a 50 percent increase from 2002, when the temporary spouse visa came into existence, and a fourfold increase over the 9,500 women who entered on fiancée visas in 1998.

The number of couples has gone up four-fold while the number of reported cases of abuse has done the same. There's no trend of increasing abuse at all. The question not mentioned in the article and not brought up before signing the legislation is whether the rate of abuse is any different than for domestic couples.

The internet makes it easy to meet people internationally in all kinds of ways. From what I can see, a great many of the websites for meeting international singles are no different than for meeting singles in the USA through Yahoo Personals or Match.com. The article focuses on a few "old fashioned" services that offer foreign vacation packages with functions to meet hundreds of local women. These are a small fraction of all couples who meet through the numerous other avenues available.

I think the "mail order bride" label is incredibly insulting to the women moving to the USA as a fiance. From what I can see, most of the marriages here are between two people who want a better life and have found someone they really love. The problem is that the world is years behind in understanding how much the internet has closed the distance between people wherever they live.

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Caladan,

Yes, it is a hard call. People have been known to file false police reports and take other actions to obtain the necessary documentation. Sometimes such people go to sufficient extremes to make their claim believable, sometimes they do not. There have been claims of such activities right her on VJ (which allows us to take the question to the next level of who's lying and who isn't). So, I have no inclination as to what the breakdown between true and false claims is, I can only wonder.

I agree that implementation was a mess, particularly with petition approvals having been issued prematurely by VSC. I think most of that mess has been cleared up, although not all, and going forward there will be fewer problems but a wicked-bad public impression to be lived down.

Yodrak

That's a hard call. Is the rise in cases because women are lying, or because there was no well-publicized option for an abused woman who didn't speak English well who believed she'd be deported if she left? I'm inclined towards the latter for no terribly good reason except that every other damn thing in this process has to be documented, so it seems that unlikely that someone could claim abuse without something like a police report.

Either way, I'm glad IMBRA was passed, and I don't mind the extra question on the form, but it was implemented horribly. To get the implementation fixed is going to require negative public attention, but that's not going to happen if it's perceived as just a problem for mail order bride seekers.

.....

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Thanks for the posting, I just read the article.

My wife would laugh at the depiction of Russian speaking wives. Anyone that has been to the former Soviet Union knows that these are not submissive women. But, I do agree that they clearly have missed what the makeup of the fiancee visas is all about. There are numerous people that choose foreign born spouses for many reasons. But, of course, this article is related to IMBRA. And IMBRA is an example of knee jerk reaction by politicians to something that is not anymore likely with international marriages than domestic marriages. If you have a history of abuse, whatever kind it is, you will likely abuse in the future regardless of who your partner is.

I hope a number of women from VJ will send letters to the New York Times telling them that not all petitioners are middle age men willing to spend thousands of dollars. But, when the dust settles, it just comes down to selling newspapers. With all of the thousands of fiancee visa applications they had only a couple of people quoted in their article. That must have satisfied their statistical analysis enough.

Interesting reading but severely lacking in good research.

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Well folks, I don't know what to say about this except that some of you VJ'ers warned me NOT TO TALK TO THE NEW YORK TIMES!!! You were right. The article is about me and is COMPLETELY TWISTED INTO B.S.!!!!!!

I can tell you that I met the reporter in person face to face, we talked for two hours and then he took me to dinner. EVERY single quote attributed to me is either twisted, or taken completely out of context. There is of course some truth to it. I am divorced. I am not bitter like I was made out to be. It is true that I don't want to have a relationship with someone with children again. I have my reasons.

The pictures they used are the worst possible pictures of me. They failed to mention:

  • Yesenia speaks fluent English and put herself through classes for two years prior to meeitng me.
  • Yesenia has a college degree in Business Administration.
  • Yesenia has her own business in Colombia and is NOT some poor girl looking for any man to take her away from a difficult life.
  • Yesenia has her own business there and takes care of herself. I did buy her a computer so we could talk more easliy, but the way they say it is as if I'm purchasing a bride.
  • I have talked to her EVERY day for over a year now. She's had many other offers. I've even told her from DAY ONE, that if she ever had second thoughts, all she had to do is tell me. I would NEVER want her to feel "stuck" with me. She loves me and I love her. I am NOT some creepy middle aged guy like you might think. You can think that if you like, it's not my problem.

The funny thing is, Yesenia is such a positive person that she won't care about the way this reads. She knows how she feels about me and I know how I feel about her.

In closing, I will say this, I got an email from the reporter BEFORE I even knew the story was in the paper apologizing. Here is what he had to say to me today at 10:41 AM:

Hey Adam,

FYI -- a version of the story is in today's paper. I can't say I'm too proud of it. It was cut in half by my editors and stuffed into the paper at the last minute. A bit of a disappointment, really. But it's there.

Anyway, all the best for you and Yesenia.

Eduardo

I'd say that about sums up the fact that the story didn't come out the way it was meant to be.

For the record, I apologize to anyone who has experienced any stress as a result of this story. I had hoped for something completely different. In fact, if you go to the audio/multimedia link, you can hear an interview with her and I over the phone, we don't sound like the story reads at all.

ALSO, the quote attributed to Sam Smith is taken out of context. I spoke to him today and he was flabbergasted!

Adam

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Well folks, I don't know what to say about this except that some of you VJ'ers warned me NOT TO TALK TO THE NEW YORK TIMES!!! You were right. The article is about me and is COMPLETELY TWISTED INTO B.S.!!!!!!

I can tell you that I met the reporter in person face to face, we talked for two hours and then he took me to dinner. EVERY single quote attributed to me is either twisted, or taken completely out of context. There is of course some truth to it. I am divorced. I am not bitter like I was made out to be. It is true that I don't want to have a relationship with someone with children again. I have my reasons.

The pictures they used are the worst possible pictures of me. They failed to mention:

  • Yesenia speaks fluent English and put herself through classes for two years prior to meeitng me.
  • Yesenia has a college degree in Business Administration.
  • Yesenia has her own business in Colombia and is NOT some poor girl looking for any man to take her away from a difficult life.
  • Yesenia has her own business there and takes care of herself. I did buy her a computer so we could talk more easliy, but the way they say it is as if I'm purchasing a bride.
  • I have talked to her EVERY day for over a year now. She's had many other offers. I've even told her from DAY ONE, that if she ever had second thoughts, all she had to do is tell me. I would NEVER want her to feel "stuck" with me. She loves me and I love her. I am NOT some creepy middle aged guy like you might think. You can think that if you like, it's not my problem.

The funny thing is, Yesenia is such a positive person that she won't care about the way this reads. She knows how she feels about me and I know how I feel about her.

In closing, I will say this, I got an email from the reporter BEFORE I even knew the story was in the paper apologizing. Here is what he had to say to me today at 10:41 AM:

Hey Adam,

FYI -- a version of the story is in today's paper. I can't say I'm too proud of it. It was cut in half by my editors and stuffed into the paper at the last minute. A bit of a disappointment, really. But it's there.

Anyway, all the best for you and Yesenia.

Eduardo

I'd say that about sums up the fact that the story didn't come out the way it was meant to be.

For the record, I apologize to anyone who has experienced any stress as a result of this story. I had hoped for something completely different. In fact, if you go to the audio/multimedia link, you can hear an interview with her and I over the phone, we don't sound like the story reads at all.

ALSO, the quote attributed to Sam Smith is taken out of context. I spoke to him today and he was flabbergasted!

I forgot to mention one other point, I NEVER went on any "romance" tour, used a translator, etc.. The ONLY thing the ILoveLatins.com agecncy did for me was to give me Yesenia's email address. That's it. Nothing more. I contacted her on my own, got to know her on my own, and went to meet her, eventually get engaged, and plan for our future on my own. This is not any kind of arranged "mail order bride" situation where I'm spending thousands of dollars on some company to provide me with a service and eventually a wife!@#$%. I got her email address, that's it. The rest we did as any other couple might if they met on Match.com, eharmony, or any other site...

Adam

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Because anyone who reads this in the NYT who isn't going through this process will think 'Gee, why should I worry about IMBRA, it's only creeps who hate American women who bother to look overseas anyway.'

Unfortunately no one who reads about IMBRA, in any context or situation is going to care if it doesn't affect them.

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