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Tahirih Justice Center will pay tribute to retired Congressmen Jim Moran and Frank Wolf at 18th Annual Gala

Tahirih Justice Center will honor two retired congressmen who have been critical advocates for courageous immigrant women and girls fleeing human rights abuses at its 18th Annual Gala, “Saving Lives, Celebrating Courage,” on Tuesday, April 14, at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. (1991-2015) and Rep. Frank Wolf. R-Va. (1981-2015) will be honored with the Congressional Leadership Award.

While in Congress, Moran and Wolf worked closely with Tahirih’s bridge-building public policy advocacy program to promote systemic change on behalf of courageous immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based human rights abuses, including rape, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, human trafficking, honor crimes, and forced marriage.

Among their many contributions, both congressmen were bipartisan sponsors of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA), a bill that Tahirih helped draft to protect so-called “mail-order brides” from abuse. Enacted in 2006 and strengthened by amendment in 2013 as part of the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act, IMBRA creates safeguards to protect foreign women from abuse by men they meet through international marriage brokers. It is common sense legislation that provides foreign women with information about the criminal history of their prospective American husbands, as well as about the rights and resources available to domestic violence survivors in the United States.

“The passage of IMBRA was an important achievement in our organization’s history, and Congressmen Moran and Wolf were essential to that milestone,” said Tahirih Senior Counsel for Policy and Strategy Jeanne Smoot. “IMBRA not only enabled immigrant women who are vulnerable to abuse through international marriage brokers to be protected, but also raised Tahirih’s profile as a national advocacy leader, enabling Tahirih to protect more women and girls through other groundbreaking and high-impact campaigns.”

Congressmen Moran and Wolf were also vital allies in elevating the voices of Tahirih’s clients in Congress and beyond, acting as co-hosts for Tahirih awareness-raising events and Congressional briefings and providing inspiring remarks about gender-based asylum and other critical legal protections for immigrant women and girls who are vulnerable to violence.

“We are honored to pay special tribute to these two distinguished congressmen at our 18th Annual Gala,” Smoot said. “Their longstanding commitment to bi-partisan collaboration to promote justice for vulnerable women and girls reflects one of Tahirih’s core values, and is worth celebrating in its own right, as much as the successes that were possible because these legislators came together in a spirit of service and to pursue common causes.”

Please note: Mr. Moran will be accepting his award in person; Mr. Wolf will be honored in absentia. Due to a conflict that prevents Mr. Wolf from attending the Gala, he graciously accepted his award, presented by a former Tahirih client, at a separate private meeting in late March.

PRESS CONTACT: Marlena Hartz, Communications Manager, 571-282-6193, MarlenaH@Tahirih.org

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