U.S. Asylum Deterrence Policies Increase Risk of Gender-Based Violence
A new report by Oxfam America and the Tahirih Justice Center documents how common it is for migrants seeking asylum to experience gender-based violence in Mexico while waiting to access the asylum process in the U.S. In Surviving Deterrence: How U.S. Asylum Deterrence Policies Normalize Gender-Based Violence, Oxfam America and Tahirih explain how U.S. asylum deterrence policies, such as border closures and expulsions, exacerbate conditions that cause gender-based violence to proliferate at the southern border. The report further asserts that survivors who do manage to apply for asylum face an inequitable and re-traumatizing process on a systemic level.
Tahirih Justice Center Celebrates Houston Annual Gala: Journey to Justice: Progress and Perseverance
The Tahirih Justice Center and Co-Chairs Rebecca Seidl, Partner at Mayer Brown LLP, and Tommy Inglesby, Managing Director at Accenture, invite you to the Houston annual gala, Journey to Justice: Progress and Perseverance on Saturday, October 29, at the Marriott Marquis (downtown).
The gala will be hosted by Oscar Nuñez and Ursula Whittaker, and the program will feature survivor testimonies, a silent auction, and musical entertainment by Kristine Mills.
Soaring in Concert Surpasses Fundraising Goal
Los Altos, Calif. — The Tahirih Justice Center is proud to announce that Soaring in Concert, a benefit concert supporting the organization’s work, raised over $30,000, surpassing its original goal. This event was made possible by the efforts of Aaron Bao, a rising high school sophomore at the Harker School in San Jose, California, and the local community. Close to 200 guests attended the concert, which took place Saturday, August 20th, at the Community School of Music and Arts Finn Center. The event featured solo performances by award-winning musicians and an art exhibit by student artists that focused on the themes of peace, love, and unity.
Soaring in Concert: A Fundraising Event for the Tahirih Justice Center
Los Altos, Calif. — On Saturday, August 20, the Tahirih Justice Center will be hosting Soaring in Concert, a benefit concert supporting the organization’s work. Organized and hosted by Aaron Bao, a rising high school sophomore at the Harker School in Palo Alto, California, the fundraiser will take place from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm PT at the Community School of Music and Arts Finn Center, 230 San Antonio Cir. Mountain View, CA 94040. The event will feature solo performances by award-winning artists. The last time this concert was held was in the fall of 2019 — right before the pandemic — raising around $30,000 in support of Tahirih’s mission.
What We Believe
Read the statement of principles from the Movement for Gender Asylum Justice.
Tahirih’s Press Statement on VAWA Reauthorization
Last night, the Senate reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a vote that was six years in the making. The Tahirih Justice Center applauds Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) for their legislative leadership in the fight to get VAWA over the finish line. The new authorization provides more than $500 million to increase resources for survivors of violence.
Thanks to the advocacy of Tahirih and members of the Forced Marriage Working Group, forced marriage has been defined and recognized as a form of violence against women in the United States.
Unfortunately, while this authorization maintains preexisting protection for immigrant survivors, we are disappointed that Congress ignored our ask of increasing or eliminating the annual cap for U visas. The low annual cap of 10,000 U visas essentially burdens the backlog and fails to adapt to the needs of survivors of violence.
Maryland’s Senate Bill to End Child Marriage Will Not Protect Minors
This year, yet again, Maryland senators have weakened a bill that seeks to end child marriage. Presented with a strong bill rooted in years of bi-partisan compromise, the amended version the Senate passed on Monday does almost nothing to protect children from abuse and exploitation under the guise of marriage. It maintains some of the most dangerous exceptions, including pregnancy and parental consent, and keeps Maryland in a position of being a regional destination for child marriage.
This amended bill has no resemblance to the initial bill the Tahirih Justice Center helped draft. While states like Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia, and Virginia have all passed similar reforms which have been working effectively. Meanwhile, other states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, New York and Minnesota have passed bright line 18 bills. It is frustrating that the Maryland Senate can’t seem to accept that it is just good public policy to do all we can to protect children from the harms of child marriage.
Nonetheless, we are hopeful the House will pass the bill out as written, as they have every year since we began this campaign in 2016. When it crosses over, we hope the Senate takes the opportunity to finally prioritize the protection of children and bring Maryland out of the dark ages when it comes to child marriage.
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