TED Case Studies

Case 487: Russian Mail Order Brides

copyright Valerie Chittenden 1997
copyright Valerie Chittenden 2000


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Identification

1. The Issue:

With the spread of the Internet and the collapse of the Soviet Union, there is a new twist in the age-old marriage custom of the mail-order bride. Increasingly, western men are turning to marriage agencies or introduction services to find spouses from the former Soviet Union. In an industry that was traditionally dominated by agencies in the Pacific Rim, this new breed of Russian Internet marriage agencies is rapidly expanding and overtaking the market. The author has found at least 200 different agencies on the Internet that focus on Russia and other Soviet Republics. The popularity of these companies is due to various factors that include culture and economics. However, there is an element of risk for either marriage partner undertaking these ventures. The bride is isolated in a new foreign country, usually unable to speak the language, and often is more vulnerable to abuse. The groom takes the risk that his new wife is just using him for permanent residency status. The whole concept of mail-order brides raises questions itself. Can two people fall in love enough to marry without ever having met? This case proposes to examine this new player in a very old industry, its impact on this market and the legalities involved.

2. Description

  1. "Match-maker, Match-maker make me a match"
  2. Mother Russia
  3. The New Soviet Woman
  4. "Bring me a ring for I am longing to be the envy of all I can see"
  5. "...find me a find, catch me a catch."
  6. "Match-maker, Match-maker, I'll bring the veil, you bring the groom, slender and pale."
  7. "The Love Boat soon will be making another run..."
  8. "Yente: Did you think you'd get a prince?..."
  9. Caveat Emptor
  10. "I Want to be in America..."
"Match-maker, Match-maker make me a match..."

The concept of arranged marriages is almost as old as the institute of marriage itself. Various cultures around the world have at one time or another advocated the arrangement of marriage between two individuals through the medium of a match-maker or other third party. It is within the last century that the "mail-order bride" became a part of the American lexicon. Settlers were moving west, where traditionally men outnumbered the women in the population. Men would correspond with marriage-minded women "back East," become engaged and either marry their brides by proxy or marry immediately upon the bride's arrival to her new home. It is within the last twenty-five years that this practice revived, mainly in Asian nations 1. It is with the collapse of the Soviet Empire that a new market has opened up to Western men. There are many reasons that Russian women are seeking husbands, and why Western men seem to desire Russian wives.

Mother Russia

A Russian woman's lot in life is not the easiest. Brutal economic conditions weigh down even the strongest of people. However, Russian women
Canal Griboedeva
copyright Valerie Chittenden 2000. The Griboedeva Canal in St Petersburg
are at a distinct disadvantage. To some they are treated as second-class citizens and are the victims out-moded patriarchal stereotypes. Even Russian feminists, those who are supposed to be the champions of women and equality, can be seen describing housework as unfitting for men.2 The ideal Russian woman is described as possessing "gentleness, sensitivity, maternal instincts and the capacity to love." 3 With the Russian Revolution of 1917, one would think women's roles would change, as Marx himself called for the integration of women into productive labor in order to emancipate them.4 However, the main factor that drew women into the workforce was the exceptionally low wages paid by the state.5 There was no way a single working parent could afford to provide a minimum living standard for a
family. Therefore both parents were forced to work in order to make ends meet.6 However, this did not change the status of women. Even though 90% of women were employed, and made up 52% of the national labor force,7 women still occupied very low places of prominence in Russian life.

The New Soviet Woman

Soviet propagandists have always highlighted the fact that 80% of its teachers and doctors are women. 8 Westerners are ignorant of the fact that in Russia these jobs are among the least prestigious. As a former teacher, the author earned 450,000 rubles a month in 1996 while a street sweeper (another position dominated by women) earned almost 1 million rubles a month. Employment and the government today still favors male workers even though they might be less qualified or reliable.9 As a result, women earn only 43% of men's salaries. 10 Due to this favoritism, women are more likely to be laid off; resulting in the fact that 75% of all unemployed in Russia are women.11 Russian women are forced to work full-time and then face the full-burden of domestic work at home. 12 Is it any wonder that Russian women see mail-order bride agencies as an opportunity to finally have a better life? With an American husband, Russian women not only gain the much-sought after goal of securing a husband but now also have the added bonus of an improved life.

"Bring me a ring for I am longing to be the envy of all I can see"

Another cause of the plethora of available Russian brides is that a major part of Russian culture for women is marriage. From the earliest times, marriage was seen as the most important point in a woman's life.13
My 11th grade class in 1996.
copyright Valerie Chittenden 2000
My 11th grade class in 1996 Note how the girls outnumber the boys- This is the norm rather than the exception.
Conventional wisdom considers any women over the age of twenty-two an old maid.14 Russian women also face statistical barriers. There are 3,361,255 more women than men aged 15-64. 15 Due to the deteriorating health system and the high rate of heart disease, the average life expectancy for men is 58 years while the life expectancy for women is 71.16 As a result, women have been under immense pressure to marry. Marriage and motherhood are major cornerstones in Russian culture. With this in mind, the government has traditionally supported this through special economic aid to couples, especially new parents. Special economic aid has resulted in a decrease in the average age of first marriages for women. Eighteen is now a normal age to marry. As teacher of the 11th grade, the author was shocked to see how many young women in my class were engaged at the age of 17 and planning their weddings after graduation. Unlike other developing nations, this does not result in a decrease in education. On the contrary, a large number of Russian women continue their education after marriage. However the result is paradoxical - an educated woman married at 18, that still maintains subordinate female gender roles.

"…find me a find, catch me a catch."

Russian women want something better. A large number of Russian women prefer American men. "'Our [Russian] men treat women like objects…They drink, they smoke, they have bad hygiene and care only about themselves. These Americans don't smoke or drink. They really seem to want to settle down and take care of their family.'"17 But what about these "dream men"? What draws successful Western men towards mail-order bride agencies? The majority of men who participate in these services are white, educated, around 37 years old, and are ideologically conservative.18 These men are tired of "career-obsessed" women and see Russian women as less materialistic and more appreciative of men.19 Many men are just frustrated by the American dating scene. One potential groom describes his searches through bars, clubs coffee-houses, laundry mats and grocery stores with no success.20 Russian women are seen as ideal over other nationalities as they "'have a European face but the patience of an Asian.'"21 Russian women are seen as more feminine and more traditional; while Russian women see American men as more considerate, more ambitious, and less inclined to drunkenness.22 Western men see Russian women as more mature and usually more educated than their Asian counterparts. 23 From the author's own observations, Russian culture puts emphasis in women looking feminine and well-groomed at all times. Is it any wonder then that American men are attracted to the idea of finding an educated, good-looking wife who will appreciate the simpler things in life?

"Match-maker, Match maker, I'll bring the veil, you bring the groom, slender and pale."

The process for finding a mail-order bride can be relatively simple and accessible but not inexpensive. According to some sources, there are over 600 agencies on the internet that provide "introduction services" or match-making for the former Soviet Union.24 One website, (www.rwguide.com) offers some advice in choosing an agency. Its criteria include

Some agencies will have up to 25,000 Russian women applying for their services annually. 25 Each agency has its criteria for choosing women. For the most part, they have to be at least 18 years old26 and can range well up into middle age. Once an agency has been selected, the prospective groom has several options depending on the agency. Some agencies will post photographs of their ladies or the groom can fill his "shopping cart" according to his specifications. The groom then is charged for the address of the ladies and/or additional services such as letter translation (since most brides do not speak English well) or conference call interpreting starting around $5.75 per minute). The addresses range in price from $10 for the first two (www.russiandream.com) to $15 for two (www.womenfromrussia.com). However, the best "value for your money" is the catalogue. For an annual fee, such as $120 US (www.russiandream.com) the groom can then receive the catalogue of complete brides and their information either annually or quarterly. According to the some estimates, about 50,000 to 60,000 catalogues are sent out annually for Russian brides.27 Grooms will then begin to correspond or call the ladies of their choice in order to learn more about them.

"The Love Boat soon will be making another run. The Love Boat promises something for everyone. Set a course for adventure, your mind on a new romance..."

The next step of the process is trying to meet one's prospective choices. The majority agencies offer special "romance" or "love tours" to Russia. For about $3000 -$5000, a hopeful man can expect

Upon arrival, the hopeful men will go to "social events." At these events, men can meet women
Innocent Tourists or 
Mail-Order Bride and Groom?
copyright Valerie Chittenden 2000
Innocent Toursists or Mail Order Bride and Groom?
in person, talk with them (usually through an interpreter), and try to get to know them. However this is more challenging then one would think since there are usually about 60 men and up to 1,000 women at these socials.28 Both the grooms and the brides find this stressful. Many women will spend a large portion of their meager salary to travel to these socials, and on clothes for the "right look" on the chance that one man might notice them out of hundreds. Grooms have said that it is too hectic-trying to meet the perfect woman in 14 days or less.29 However, at least one meeting is necessary to satisfy INS requirements for fiancee visas. Some men will go to meet women they have already been corresponding with and others will go to meet first and then begin correspondence. Both sides hope to meet that special someone who will be a partner for life.

"Yente: Did you think you'd get a prince? Well I do the best I can. With no money no dowry no family background, be glad you got a man!"

So once the champagne has been drunk and the rice tossed out, the newlyweds now must face the daunting task of building a marriage between two virtual strangers. Cultural differences alone can be frustrating. In one example, the new husband wanted his new bride to spend more time with his mother and learn to cook American food as he did not like her Russian cooking. 30 Most of these women speak very little English; making communication often difficult. Many of these Russian women also bring children from previous relationships into these marriages. On one hand, the new groom has an instant family. On the other, he now has to deal with a child or children who have now been uprooted from their country and also speak little English.

Caveat Emptor

Both parties are in extremely vulnerable situations. Russian women are now in a new country initially at the mercy of their husbands. Lack of knowledge of immigration and local law leaves these women vulnerable to domestic abuse. In one case, the wife was told that her husband would beat her or her child if she did not obey his orders.31 They were told that if they tried to complain, he would have them deported. Thanks to recent legislation, this is not the case.32 (see below) Additionaly, the new groom is also exposed to risk-both financially and emotionally. At the end of the courtship, most men will have paid for several addresses or annual subscriptions, translation and/or interpreting services, a tour and then all the expenses for the wedding and bringing their new spouse to the US. When the author posted a request for satisfied grooms on a bulletin board (Planet Love), I received one reply detailing this man's heartbreaking experience. He had met his bride and brought her to the US to marry her. Thirteen days after the marriage, there was a "family emergency" in Russia and his wife had to rush home (along with $700 from her husband and his $1800 engagement ring). She never returned, and every time he called the phone was hung up on him. After eighteen months, she contacted him again and begged for forgiveness. He took her back and they remained together for almost two years (which is coincidentally the minimum amount of time you must remain married to an American in order to remove the conditionality of your visa33 - INS) when he returned home and found his wife gone. Another more sinister case involves one Texan who is believed to have been murdered by his new Ukrainian wife.34 She was called home for a family emergency and he followed. There he died from "a fall" and his American children suspect foul play. The case is still under investigation.
 
 

3. Related Cases

Traffic-The Sexual Trafficing of Russian women

Russsex-The Increase of Prostitution in Russia

Thaitour-Sex Tours to Thailand

Myansex-Trafficing of Burmese Women and Children into Thailand

Nepalsex-The Increase in Prositution in Nepal

Thaiaids-The Spread fo Aids in Thailand

Adopt-The Rising Trade in Chinese Adoptions

Environmental reasons to leave Russia

Komi-The Russian Artic Oil Spill

Mercury-Mercury Poisoning in Russia

Russair-Air Pollution in Russia

Sibnuke-Siberian Nuclear Waste

Ural-Nuclear Contamination of the Ural Mountains

4. Draft Author:

Valerie J. Chittenden, April 2000

II.  Legal Clusters

"I Want to be in America..."
Despite all of the potential for disaster, thousands still proceed to look for and marry brides through mail-order bride agencies. You would think that finding a bride would be the most difficult aspect. Instead, it would appear that navigating the maze of INS regulations and procedure can often be more daunting (In fact, some agencies offer their own legal counsel). There are two methods of bringing a mail-order bride to the US. The first is simply marrying her and then applying for a "Petition for an Alien Relative"35. ( Please see this INS web site for more detailed information of the process ). Your bride then has to apply for an Immigrant Visa as well. However this is a conditional visa and the couple must remain together for at least 2 years before they can apply to have conditionality removed.36 The happy couple is then subject to whatever investigations the INS deems appropriate. The other method and the one that allows the potential new brides more freedom is the Fiance Visa. Under this regulation, the couple must marry in the US. The husband must file a petition with the INS. 37 (Click Here For Fiance Visa Info). The couple must have met in person at least once in the last two years before filing. The bride and her children may then travel to the US and has 90 days to marry. If the couple has not married in 90 days, then the bride (and any children) must return to their home. If she wishes to return to the US, she has to reapply for a completely new visa. The Fiancee Visa gives the couple the freedom to cancel at the last minute. If they decide they do not suit each other, then they can easily call things off without having to resort to a potentially messy or damaging divorce. This is not as unusual as it sounds. Some Russian brides have arrived in the US and changed their minds after spending more time with their fiance.38
 

5. Discourse and Status: Agreemant and Complete

In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act. This was in response to a growing awareness of the vulnerability of mail-order brides as demonstrated in 1995, when a mail-order bride from the Philippines was shot to death by her abusive husband in a Seattle courthouse39. Section 652 of this legislation specifically addresses the mail-order bride industry. It addresses the fact that there are a large number of agencies active in the US who seem to be generating "substantial profits."40 Despite well over 2,000 mail-order marriages a year, there is no information on the amount of mail-order brides entering the US. The purpose of this law is two-fold: to protect the safety of mail-order brides and to prevent fraud. Most mail-order brides are ignorant of US immigration law and believe that they must remain in abusive situations or else be deported. This is not the case thanks to 1994 Violence Against Women Act. Under this law passed in 1994, spouses of US citizens or their children have the right to petition for permanent residency when they meet the following criteria: They can apply without their spouse's knowledge and the INS urges immediate contact with the National Domestic Abuse Hotline (1-800-799-7233) for help.

Under this legislation, "each international matchmaking organization doing business in the United States"41 must provide information, in the prospective bride's native language of immigration and naturalization information, including the battered spouse waiver, the penalties of marriage fraud, and a warning of the unregulated nature of international matchmaking organizations.42 The penalty for organizations violating this regulation can be a fine up to $20,000.

Finally this legislation also required that the Attorney General and the INS compile a report examining the number of mail-order bride marriage, the extent of marriage fraud, the usage of the battered spouse waiver, the extent of abuse in mail-order marriages and the need for expanded regulation.

Please follow this link to read the INS report in its entirety.
Appendix A
Appendix B

Data for this industry is very difficult to obtain especially when dealing with companies that operate in different countries. The INS does not ask those applying for visas for fiances or spouses how they met.43 This industry is extremely unregulated. There are no central guidelines that determine how a matchmaking agency functions. There is no legislation that I could discover where agencies are obligated to publish the amount of “successful” matches or divorces. Only when agencies violate US immigration law or federal fraud legislation are they penalized. Marriage agencies that promote marriage for immigration purposes are strictly prohibited. Marriage agencies are obligated to provide immigration law information to their brides and the INS has provided this information to its consuls abroad for dissemination.44 The Violence Against Women Act has given mail-order brides the ability to flee abusive relationships without being deported. The report concludes with the statement that more monitoring is required and that the INS continue to gather data on mail-order marriages.

6. Forum and Scope:US-Russia and Bilateral

While international mail-order brides appeal to men everywhere, the vast majority of mail-order birde agencies seem to gear their markets towards the US. The internet sites are primarily in English and offer assistance with the INS and visa processing. In fact, the mail-order bride industry has drastically increased with the advent of the Internet. With the revolution of the Information Age, time has shrunk. Previously, this industry was completely at the mercy of mail order and the limitations of the postal system. Customers had to wait for their catalogues to arrive in the mail, then wait for responses to letters and photographs. Teleconferencing with interpreters helps break down the language barrier. With the click of a mouse, a customer can view biographies and photos of brides, make their choices, add them to their shopping cart and pay via credit card. They can begin to correspond or call the woman of their choice immediately. Potential grooms can exchange videos with their brides. It is no longer cost prohibitive to visit Russia and meet their bride in person (all of this can of course be arranged through most of these agencies). The accessibility of the Internet has directly contributed to the spread of these agencies, and while they may target their products for US men, there is no restriction on anyone with a computer and basic knowledge of English from accessing these sights.

7. Decision Breadth: 2

8. Legal Standing: LAW

At the moment, the only country that has legislation against mail-order brides is the Philippines where the mail-order bride industry has been outlawed.45 This was due to the extremely active sex-trade and trafficking of women. The only US legislation is the US Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act described above ( see above). At this juncture, the Department of Justice and the INS advocate further study and research of the industry. There are no regulations restricting the operation of mail-order bride agencies in the US, as long as agencies: Another area agencies must be careful in is when they offer visa assistance. According to INS regulations, a visa consultant or any other person who is not a licensed attorney may only assist someone with completing INS forms and applications for a nominal fee and cannot state that they are qualified expert in immigration laws.46 There are no other restrictions, regulations or quality control measures in place at this date.

III. Geographic Clusters

9. Geographic Locations

a. Geographic Domain: Europe

b. Geographic Site: East Europe

c. Geographic Impact: US

10. Sub-National Factors: No

11. Type of Habitat: Cool

IV. Trade Clusters

12. Type of Measure: Import Standard

As stated previously, there is very little data available on the number of Russian mail-order bride marriages that occur annually or how many of them last. The INS estimates that 2,000 to 5,000 mail order marriages occur annually.46 According to my calculations, that is an average of 3500 marriages a year. For 1997, 21% of all immigrants were spouses of US citizens. A substantial majority of these immigrants were women. Since there is little official data available, the INS, using the figure of 2000-5000 marriages a year, calculates that 1.5% to 2.7% of the 132,000 female spouses entering the US are mail-order brides. 47

The biggest trend in the mail-order bride market has been the explosion of agencies that provide introductions to women in the former Soviet Union. According to the INS report, 51% of mail order agencies in 1998 were for women in the former Soviet Union. The INS performed a small survey on mail-order brides and found that of that group, 46% were from the former USSR. Therefore Soviet mail-order brides are appear to be dominating this industry.

13. Direct v. Indirect Impacts: Direct

14. Relation of Trade Measure to Environmental Impact

a. Directly Related to Product: Yes, Brides

b. Indirectly Related to Product: No

c. Not Related to Product: No

Related to Process: Yes, Rights

The concept of the mail-order bride raises a holw host of issues regarding the definitions of love, marriage, modern femininity, women's rights and economics. Can two strangers really fall in love and make a lasting commitment based on correspondence and a few meetings- especially when all of this occurs through the medium of an interpreter? Romantic literature would say yes iterature would say yes especially with the medieval tradition of courtly love from afar. How viable is a marriage when one of the partner’s main desires is to flee poverty? Are American men just lonely or are these men looking for someone to dominate and assume conventional female roles? Is there something really wrong with American women? Are Russian women sincerely looking for love or for a provider to support them and their children- a provider that they will cause lasting emotional harm when they desert them as soon as INS regulations allow? Both parties leave themselves extremely vulnerable in this process. Yes, there are happy endings and glowing testimonials; but there are also the battered wives and abandoned men. Is the mail-order bride industry just exploiting the hopes and dreams of lonely people, or are they honestly concerned with compatibility and bringing two people together? The human heart can be fragile. It is difficult to reconcile abstract concepts such as desire for love and happiness with a monetary amount that can be set arbitrarily by agencies.

15. Trade Product Identification: Bride

16. Economic Data

There are over 600 Russian mail-order bride agencies operating on the Internet. The main sources of revenue for mail-order bride agencies are the subscriptions, support services (translation, teleconferencing, legal support, etc.) and the tours. Again, there is very little information available as to how much agencies net for these services. With hundreds of agencies and tours costing from $3000 to $5000 US, one would think that the profits would be substantial.

With the lack of regulation for mail-order bride agencies, there is little financial data available on the success of various agencies. However by looking at various agencies and using the INS data, I have performed some preliminary calculations. The most popular and supposedly cost-efficient method of finding ones spouse is to pay the annual subscription that allows the subscriber access to the agency’s entire catalogue of photos and addresses of prospective brides. The groom then corresponds with the women of his choice (usually through an interpreter, which incurs additional fees). The hopeful groom will then usually take part in a “Romance Tour” to either meet the woman of his choice or meet other prospective brides. In order to obtain a Fiancee Visa from the INS, the couple has to have met in person at least once in two years. This Romance Tour can meet that criteria.48
Average Catalogue Subscription Price Average Number of Catalogues Issued Annually49 Approximate Revenue From Catalogue Subscriptions
$120 55,000 $6.6 Million
Approximate Number of Romance Tours in 200050 Average Number of Men on Each Trip51 Average Cost Per Person52 Approximate Total Revenue from Trips
56 40 $4000 $8.9 Million US

The author made these calculations using information available. Again this does not include the costs for the bride’s airfare to the US, the cost of the wedding or translation costs. The amount this industry earns is not known persently but must be substantial juding by the success of these agencies.

17. Impact of Trade Restriction: High

In theory, legislation can end this industry by banning mail-order agencies all together as in the case of the Philippines. However this might not be effective. In the US there are thousands of dating services or agencies dedicated to just introducing people to each other (no mention is necessarily made of marriage). Existing agencies could alter their format and just market themselves as pen-pal clubs (which many of them already do) or dating services. Despite changes, there is little chance that ingrained Russian cultural ideas concerning the roles of women and marriage will change quickly. Russian women will still want husbands and American men will still want wives. The INS cannot discriminate how a couple meets – it can only look for fraud or abuse. However it and the federal government can make it cost prohibitive to marry a mail-order bride and cause a decrease in the industry.

18. Industry Sector:Services

19. Exporters and Importers:Russia and USA

These sights offered very detailed descriptions of their services and costs, and offered advice:

These 2 sites are general information sites. They offer useful information on selecting an agency, message boards to speak to other prospective grooms and have links to hundreds of other agencies:

V. Environment Clusters

20. Environmental Problem Type: Rights

21. Name, Type, and Diversity of Species

22. Resource Impact and Effect: Structure and Low

23. Urgency and Lifetime: medium and 70 years

24. Substitutes:

Yes, there are alternative substitutes to mail-order bride agencies. Men and women can look for spouses in their respective countries through conventional means. Through the internet, men and women from different nations can correspond through chat rooms, bulletin boards and newsgroups. If they still feel the need to have someone help them, friends, family and the time-honored community yente are usually more than happy to arrange introductions without monetary compensation.

VI. Other Factors

25. Culture: Yes

See above. Russian culture puts a great deal of emphasis on the role of marriage. Women are expected to marry and marry young. A Russian woman is seen as an old-maid and a spinster if she is not married by twenty-five.

26. Trans-Boundary Issues: No

27. Rights: Yes

As stated previously, the potential bride and groom are vulnerable in this process. Yes there are cases that end happily. However the bride is vulnerable to abuse when arriving in her new country and while dependent on her new husband. The groom is vulnerable to financial ruin and emotional trauma if his bride abandons him or sues him for divorce. There are no guidelines governing the behavior of agencies or compensation for unsatisfied customers.

28. Relevant Literature

1Robert Scholes, "Appendix A: The The Mail-Order Bride Industry and Its Impact on US Immigration," [report on-line]; available from www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/aboutins/repsstudies/mobappa.htm; Internet; accessed March 3, 2000.

2Helen Goscilo,Dehexing Sex: Russian Womanhood During and After Glasnost,(Ann Arbor:The University of Michigan Press,1996), 10.

3Goscilo, 10.

4Goscilo, 8.

5Vitalina Koval, "Women and Work in Russia,"Women in Contemporary Russia, ed. V. Koval, (Providence:Berghan Books, 1995), 19.

6Ibid

7Goscilo, 8.

8Goscilo, 9.

9Goscilo, 11.

10 Donna M. Hughes, "Commercial Use of the Internet for Sexual Exploitation,"Pimps and Predators on the Internet-Globalizing the Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children, Part 8 of 16, [database on line], (Coalition Against the Trafficking in Women, March 1999), Internet, available at http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/catw/ppcpt1.htm, accessed February 22, 2000.

11Goscilo, 35.

12Goscilo, 8.

13Natalia Pushkareva, Women in Russian History: From the Tenth to the Twentieth Century, trans. and ed. Eve Levin, (New York: M.E. Sharp, 1997), 29.

14Kevin Sullivan, "Blissful coexistence? US Men seek mail-order brides in Russia",The Washington Post, 24 May 1994, section A, page 1.

15"Russia," in the 1999 CIA Factbook, [Internet], available at http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rs.html , accessed March 15, 2000.

16 ibid

17Alessandra Stanley, "Video Valentines to Russia, Seeking Patient Brides," The New York Times,14 February 1997, sec A, page 3.

18Scholes, 1999.

19Sullivan, 1994.

20Investigative Reports,"To Russia For Love: Mail Order Brides,"(New York: A&E Television Network, 1999).

21Stanley, 1997.

22Ibid.

23Investigative Reports, 1999.

24Ibid

25Ibid

26Ibid

27Ibid

28Ibid

29Ibid

30Ibid

31Ibid

32Elliot Grossman, "Immigrant Brides; Beware *New Law Tries to Warn Women Who Meet Men Through Ads There is a Potential For Abuse," The Morning Call, 10 August, 1997, Section B page 1.

33"How Do I Remove the Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage?"From The Immigration and Naturalization Web Site, (accessed March 31,2000)Internet,available at http://www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/howdoi/remCond.htm.

34Investigative Reports, 1999.

35" How do I Bring a Relative to Live in the United States," from the Immigration and Naturalization Web site, (accessed March 31, 2000) Internet, available at www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/howdoi/spouseliv.htm.

36>"How Do I Remove the Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage?"

37"How Do I Bring My Fiance to Live in the United States?" The Immigration and Naturalization Services Web Site,(accessed March 31, 2000) Internet, available at www.ins.doj.gov/graphics/howdoi/fiance.htm.

38Investigative Reports, 1999.

39"International Matchmaking Organizations: A Report to Congress," Immigration and Naturalization Web site,[report on line],(accessed March 3, 2000), available at www.ins.usdoj.gov/graphics/aboutins/repsstudies/mobrept.htm.

40Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, Sec. 652, (1996).

41Ibid

42Ibid

43"International Matchmaking Organizations: A Report to Congress,"

44Ibid

45Hughes, 1999.

46"International Matchmaking Organizations: A Report to Congress,"

47Ibid

48Ibid

49How Do I Bring My Fiance to Live in the United States?"

50Investigative Reports, 1999.

51 The Russian Women Guide, 2000 Calender, (accessed March 29, 2000) Internet, available at www.rwguide.com/calender.htm.

52Investigative Reports, 1999.

53Ibid