New Resources Available on the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act
In 2006 the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (“IMBRA”) was enacted as part of the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act. IMBRA promotes protections from abuse for foreign women who use the services of international marriage broker agencies (IMBs).
The Tahirih Justice Center, which helped draft and mobilize support for IMBRA recently announced several new resources to assist potential victims:
UPDATE #1: US Citizenship and Immigration Services has finally released a Fact Sheet to comply with its mandate under IMBRA to provide immigrating foreign brides (and other marriage-based visa applicants) with potentially life-saving information about rights and resources available to them in the United States if they are abused.
The Fact Sheet will be a powerful tool to prevent violence and avert needless tragedies: the audience that it will reach includes approximately 30,000 foreign fiancé(e)s on K-1 visas and 14,000 foreign spouses on K-3 visas who come to the United States each year.
The Fact Sheet (“Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa”) has been posted on the USCIS website (at www.uscis.gov > Resources > Humanitarian-Benefit Based Resources > Resources for Battered Spouses, Children and Parents). Translations into 14 languages mandated by IMBRA should follow shortly, as should further postings on the Department of State and US consulate websites.
UPDATE #2: Tahirih has prepared an Advisory intended to help hold IMBs accountable for failing to comply with IMBRA, as well as several state laws that regulate IMBs. The Advisory outlines for prosecutors, attorneys, victim-advocates, and others, the various legal remedies – at the federal and state level, both civil and criminal, initiated by prosecutors or pursued by the abused women themselves – that may be available when a woman is abused by a man she met through an IMB.
For a copy of the Advisory, as well as more information on IMBRA, please see www.tahirih.org/advocacy/policy-areas/imb-campaign.