Tahirih regularly assesses the needs of our clients and designs our public policy advocacy agenda around their most pressing concerns. Responding to the experiences of the immigrant women and girls we serve, Tahirih has become a leader in a range of public policy debates. Over the last decade, Tahirih has developed the following primary public policy focus areas:
- Tahirih’s Forced Marriage Initiative was formally launched in 2011 after years of groundwork in researching the issue and tracking and responding to cases. The initiative aims to develop a national response to the problem of forced marriage in immigrant communities in the United States that will enable women and girls to safely resist or escape forced marriages. Read More
- Tahirih advocates for the accountability of international marriage brokers (“IMBs,” commonly referred to as “mail-order bride” agencies) and the protection of foreign brides through legislation, public education, and precedent-setting litigation. As a direct result of Tahirih’s advocacy efforts, the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) was signed into federal law in 2006 as part of the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act. Additionally, Tahirih successfully brought the first lawsuit against an IMB in the United States. Read More
- Tahirih leads national, regional, and local coalitions advocating to ensure that immigrant women survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, and other crimes can access help from law enforcement without fear of being placed in detention or deported. Tahirih opposes proposals to compel state and local police to do “double duty” as federal immigration enforcement agents, and supports efforts to prohibit police from asking victims and witnesses about their immigration status. Tahirih also works to affirm and expand the access of immigrant survivors of crime to protections provided for them under the Violence Against Women Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Read More
- Tahirih works to affirm and expand protections offered by the United States to women and girls fleeing gender-based persecution. Tahirih also advocates for measures needed to reform the US asylum system generally, to ensure the protection of all individuals fleeing persecution. Read More
- Tahirih also engages in international advocacy to end violence against women and girls, participating in national coalitions in support of federal legislation such as the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) and the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act. Tahirih also strongly supports US ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.