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Pseudo brides or loving wives?

Dear Editor
 
Pseudo brides or loving wives? The Russian mail order brides issue is variously reported in Pravda as either "How Russian pseudo-brides cheat Americans" 07/16/2004 or its wares are promoted, "Russia and America, the quiet detente Part four" 08/29/2004.
 
The new spirit of friendship and co-operation between former adversaries is much to be welcomed, but whether the political concept of detente is applicable to the issue of Russian mail order brides is debateable. Figures for Russian/American marriages through internet mail order bride agencies are notoriously difficult to come by. According to an estimate by the American BCIS immigration service the majority of immigrant marriages end in divorce within the first 5 years, frequently ending in claims of domestic violence. Whatever the truth, mail order brides are commonly perceived as being primarily economic migrants, green card scammers or gold diggers. An image which the mail order bride industry finds difficult to shake off due to frequent media coverage of scams within this industry. Like the Pravda story about Russian pseudo brides scams or that of the Chelyabinsk gynaecologist.
 
In America Senator Cantwell wishes to "End Mail Order Bride Abuse" with her International Marriage Broker Regulation Act before Congress at present. The government of the Phillipines has tackled the mail order bride issue by outlawing marriage agencies and sex tours in their country. Senator Cantwell, does not propose a ban but seeks to regulate an otherwise unregulated industry.
 
John Collins

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