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Online-dating relationships essentially involve three distinct, progressive stages:
1. Stage One is the Introduction Stage, in which people first greet each other ("hello"), exchange letters, e-mails, phone calls, etc.
2. Stage Two is the Courtship Stage, in which people actually meet, get to know each other better and advance their relationship. If the couple met via an International Matchmaking Organization (IMO), the gentleman usually travels to meet the lady in her native country.
3. Finally, Stage Three is the Consular Visa Stage. At this time, the couple is engaged (or married), and the lady applies for a fiance(e)/spousal visa so she can move to the U.S. to join her partner (if her visa is approved).
IMBRA imposes two extensive criminal background checks on all U.S. male clients of IMOs:
1) at the Introduction Stage (at the level of initial contact) and
2) at the Consular Visa Stage (during fiance(e)/spousal visa application)
The two current lawsuits against IMBRA challenge the mandatory background checks at the Introduction Stage, but not at the Consular Visa Stage.
It is very important to emphasize that there has been no documented cases of violence against foreign women (by American men who met them via IMOs) during the Introduction and the Courtship Stages of online-dating relationships. This suggests that for foreign women, there is virtually no risk of physical abuse at these stages. Therefore, it is completely senseless to require unilateral disclosure of personal and criminal information of all American male clients of IMOs at the Introduction Stage (level of initial contact).
Foreign women will be adequately protected by having extensive criminal background check done on their fiance(e)s/spouses at the Consular Visa Stage, before they immigrate to this country.
The Tahirih Justice Center (the main proponent of IMBRA) have failed to give any reasonable explanation as to why mandatory background checks must be done at the Introduction Stage, even though there is no risk of harm (to foreign women).
What is also very disturbing about IMBRA is that Domestic Matchmaking Organizations (DMOs) are completely exempted (from having to do any background checks on male clients), despite numerous cases of brutal murder, rape and torture of women that have occurred as result of contacts "facilitated" by these agencies..... Furthermore, what I find most appalling is that the Tahirih continues to desperately defend these exemptions in Courts, even though eliminating them will help prevent many cases of murder, rape and exploitation of women.
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