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This article was originally published on May 05, 2007.

Tahirih recently won an important legal victory in its fight for the protection of foreign women who meet American men through international marriage brokers (IMBs), commonly known as “mail-order bride” agencies.

The U.S. Federal District Court in Georgia, after a day-long hearing and a year of deliberation, issued a 40-page decision upholding the constitutionality of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) and praising it as a measure that “is highly likely to reduce domestic abuse—and may actually save lives.”

The Georgia lawsuit was brought by a leading IMB that alleged that the law’s requirement that it provide information to foreign women about their legal rights and the violent histories of their prospective American husbands violated the agency’s constitutional rights. The lawsuit was successfully defended by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Tahirih Justice Center. Tahirih is extremely grateful to the law firms of Arnold & Porter LLP and Jones Day, which represented Tahirih on a pro bono basis.

This court decision affirming the importance of IMBRA will send an important message to the industry. Tahirih recognizes that the decision might result in their increased anger and mobilization against its efforts.

“We are determined to forge ahead, and now hope to be able to turn our energies away from defensive litigation and back to the real work at hand: advocating for the full implementation and enforcement of IMBRA to protect foreign women,” said Layli Miller-Muro, Tahirih Founder and Executive Director.

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