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Pro Bono Library Items Archive

  • Amicus on Motions to Reopen Based on Criminal Vacatur

    • Publication Date: April 27, 2022
    • Publication Categories: Amicus Briefs

    Tahirih and partner organizations filed an amicus brief with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) addressing factors the BIA should consider when deciding whether to grant an untimely motion to reopen based on vacatur of a criminal conviction. The brief emphasizes that convictions of survivors of gender-based violence and trafficking often stem from victimization, that survivors face significant procedural obstacles, and that both Congress and the states have taken measures to protect survivors from the consequences of gender-based violence and trafficking.

  • Tahirih Comments on Improving Form I-589

    • Publication Date: April 22, 2022
    • Publication Categories: Comments

    The Tahirih Justice Center submitted comments on ways in which USCIS can improve, and shorten, the Form I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.

  • 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.

  • Sign-On Letter Addressing Gender-Affirming Care

    • Publication Date: March 02, 2022

    In response to the February 18, 2022 non-binding opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken
    Paxton and subsequent letter from Governor Greg Abbott to Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Jaime Masters, the Tahirih Justice Center along with the undersigned 55 mental health organizations, child welfare organizations, and advocates write to express intense concern about any further action that would, by policy, practice, or statute, define gender-affirming care as child abuse and/or neglect. Any attempt to characterize gender-affirming care, including medical and mental health treatment, as “child abuse” carries significant potential negative consequences for families, transgender children and adults, mental health and medical professionals, as well as for professionals working in and around the child welfare system.

  • 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.  


    For further comments on this topic, please email [email protected] 

  • Tahirih Comments on Separation of Families

    Tahirih filed a comment with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on ways to minimize the separation of families who enter the United States. The comment notes that family separation amounts to torture and recommends that the administration abandon the misuse of Title 42, the Migrant Protection Protocols, and detention and deportation to separate families