Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

#2- JRL 7033

MOSCOW, January 24 /from RIA Novosti's Alexander Smotrov/ - 75,000 Russian
girls immigrated to the USA on so-called fiancee visas within the last ten
years, and an equal number on other visas but with the same purpose of
matchmaking, reports Olga Makhovskaya, executive manager of a social
support programme for Russian emigrant families, and member of an ad hoc
team which is drafting a bill to prevent slave traffic.

As she was addressing a news conference in Moscow today, Miss Makhovskaya
cited impressive figures. Official statistics give the number of Russian
immigrants in the USA for the last 12 or 13 years as 800,000, while
unofficial make it three million. Russians-mainly of Jewish ethnicity-have
been immigrating on the Jackson-Vanik amendment ever since the 1970s.

Female emigration from Russia is highly specific. A mere 15% emigrate for
employment, while a majority go to America to get married.

Prominent rights activist, Olga Makhovskaya has several reasons to explain
a Russian fiancee inflow to the USA. Russian family patterns are losing
popularity apace. The West is pining for Russian beauties. Last but not
least, the many male immigrants who come to America in search of better
jobs prefer to marry fellow immigrants.

There is a pronounced generation gap between Russian fiancees, with an
average age of 19-20, and their men, who are, for the most part, past
forty. 80 to 90% of such marriages bring a divorce two years after the
wedding-threshold term to obtain residence permits.

The State Duma, the Russian parliament's lower house, has appointed initial
hearings on the anti-slave traffic bill for February 17. Apart from getting
married to stay in America, it will concern far more dramatic instances,
too-forcing girl immigrants into prostitution, adoptions with unseemly
purposes, and trade in human organs for transplantation surgery.
Matchmaking agencies will have their share of liability for arranging
fictitious transnational marriages.

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