PRESS RELEASE: Tahirih’s IMBRA Amendments Included in VAWA’s Passage

Posted March 5, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2013

Tahirih Justice Center Applauds Final Passage of Bill to Reauthorize VAWA: Legislation Includes Key Provisions to Prevent Abuse and Exploitation through International Marriage Brokers

Contact: Layli Miller-Muro, Executive Director: (202) 246-1844, layli@tahirih.org

WASHINGTON, DC— March 5, 2013.. The Tahirih Justice Center (Tahirih) applauds the US House of Representatives for passing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (S.47) on February 28, 2013 by a resounding bipartisan vote of 286-138. We also applaud the US Senate for earlier passing this vital legislation on February 12th by a decisive vote of 78-22, and we look forward to swift action by the President to sign this bill into law.

Among other key provisions to improve the nation’s response to domestic and sexual violence, the bill strengthens protections for immigrant survivors and reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The legislation also contains critical amendments to ensure the full implementation and enforcement of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA). Tahirih helped draft this law enacted in 2006 to prevent the brutal abuse and exploitation of foreign women who meet their spouses through so-called “mail-order bride” agencies. Tahirih’s Executive Director, Layli Miller-Muro stated, “VAWA’s reauthorization by Congress will help protect the rights of thousands of women and children from abusers. The IMBRA provisions will enhance law enforcement officers’ ability to prosecute violations of IMBRA and keep women and their children safe.” For more on the IMBRA amendments, click here.

Together with a core group of other leading national advocacy organizations, Tahirih has been at the forefront of the effort to reauthorize and strengthen VAWA. We co-chaired the Immigration Committee of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence and we were a lead negotiator on VAWA’s immigration provisions with House and Senate leadership and committee staff.

Each VAWA reauthorization represents a crucial opportunity not only to continue, but also to improve and increase our nation’s commitment to ending domestic and sexual violence. Tahirih is proud to have been a part of VAWA’s historic mandate by helping advance protections for all survivors.

The Tahirih Justice Center is a national, non-profit organization that protects courageous immigrant women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence. We elevate their voices in communities, courts, and Congress to create a world where women and girls enjoy equality and live in safety and with dignity. Since 1997, through direct services and referrals, Tahirih has helped over 14,000 women and children who have fled from domestic violence, rape, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, “honor” crimes, forced marriage and other abuses. Tahirih is recognized as one of the nation’s foremost pro bono legal advocacy organizations working to protect immigrant women and girls from violence throughout the Washington, DC area, Baltimore, Maryland, and Houston, Texas.