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European Journal

Ireland/Latvia: The Golden Immigration Card

Migrants from South Asia enter fake marriages in Ireland with women from the Baltic States. The marriage certificate is their admission ticket to the European Union.

The Irish-Latvian connection is ideal for human traffickers. Irish registry offices make only the most cursory checks whether the nuptial partners actually know each other. And the Baltic states have sufficient numbers of women wanting to escape from a bad economic situation. Anyone having second thoughts is forced to go through with the marriage, often through the use of violence. Out of shame or fear, many women refuse to speak about their experiences after returning home.