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BREAKING NEWS: Tahirih Wins Key Immigration Case

In a significant decision issued last week, an immigration judge reversed himself in a high-profile asylum case (Matter of A-T-), finally granting protection to a young woman who had suffered female genital mutilation (FGM) and feared further persecution if she were returned to Mali.

The decision reflects a critical course-correction from earlier decisions by both the judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) (the nation’s highest immigration court) that held asylum claims by women who have suffered FGM to a higher legal standard than claims by other asylum applicants.

Read the press release>

Join Us May 4th for a Washington, DC Pearl Event

Mother's day pearls and roseJust in time for Mother’s Day, we are holding a special Amy Lin Pearl Event featuring an incredible collection of her new spring line. Among the tables of merchandise, you’ll find everything from classic pearl studs and strands from $30 to $3,000, to one-of-a-kind statement pieces. Amy Lin, our international supporter and partner for many years, has already discounted her pieces to promote sales, so you are sure to find a great deal for yourself, your mother, grandmother, sister, daughter—or any woman you want to show you appreciate on this Mother’s Day (May 8th!).

As always, the Tahirih Justice Center will receive 45% of all sales, so bring a friend and check out our event on May 4th at the DC law firm of Hogan Lovells at Columbia Square, 555 Thirteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC. This pearl event is open to the public and won’t return again until the fall. We hope to see you there!

View the invitation for more information

Outreach Efforts Result in Unprecedented Growth of Houston Pro Bono Attorney Network

Since the first quarter of 2010, Houston’s Pro Bono Attorney Network has grown from 83 individual attorneys at 13 law firms to 188 attorneys at 20 firms—an incredible growth of 227%. This increase represents not only the strength of support from the Houston community for Tahirih’s mission of providing justice to immigrant women and girls in need, but also the dedication of Tahirih staff to providing outreach and education on the needs and challenges faced by immigrant women and girls to the Houston community.

Continue Reading>

Tahirih to Launch National Survey on Forced Marriage in Immigrant Communities in United States

Over the last few years, the Tahirih Justice Center and colleague organizations have been alerted to a number of cases of forced marriages involving young women from immigrant families residing in the United States. Through physical force, threats, or deception, these young women have been forced to marry against their will, typically being sent abroad for the wedding ceremony, or sometimes being compelled to sponsor a fiancé or spouse visa to enable the groom to join them in the United States.

Tahirih is launching a first-of-its-kind national survey this spring to ascertain the nature and scope of this emerging problem of forced marriage in immigrant communities in the United States. Continue Reading>

Tahirih Honored at Maggio & Kattar’s Third Annual Founders' Day Benefit

The late great Michael Maggio

On Wednesday, March 16th, the Washington, DC immigration law firm of Maggio & Kattar honored the Tahirih Justice Center at their third Annual Founders' Day benefit. Inaugurated in 2009 in honor of the firm's founders, Candace Kattar and the late Michael Maggio, the annual Founders' Day is an opportunity for Maggio & Kattar to join friends, colleagues, and the immigration community in recognizing and supporting the work of an extraordinary local non-profit organization. Continue Reading>


Tickets are Now On Sale for Tahirih’s Fourteenth Annual Benefit

Tahirih Invitation web inpost.jpgTickets are now on sale for Tahirih’s upcoming Fourteenth Annual Benefit Fundraiser scheduled for May 25, 2011, at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The event will “Celebrate the Good Fellas” and recognize the important role of men in achieving justice for women and girls.

Academy Award nominated actress and Tahirih Board member Debra Winger and Rainn Wilson, Tahirih advocate and actor of the critically acclaimed television series “The Office,” will serve as Masters of Ceremonies for the evening’s program. Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan and actor Sam Waterston of the critically acclaimed NBC television show “Law & Order” will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of our Annual Benefit Committee. Continue Reading>

New Protective Order Statute in Virginia Provides Tahirih Clients with Better Options when Fleeing Abuse

child's drawing of a familyOn April 15, 2011, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law a bill that greatly expands and streamlines Virginia’s protective order statute, filling a gaping hole in the current law and providing better access to protection for many of Tahirih’s clients. Protective orders, more commonly known as restraining orders, are civil court orders issued to victims of violence which make it a punishable offense for abusers to have continued contact with the victim, and are a key tool in protecting victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Continue Reading>

United Way Eligibility

United Way logo

Due to the Tahirih Justice Center’s recent growth into Houston and Baltimore, we are now considered a national organization by the local eligibility standards set by the United Way of the National Capital Region. For this reason, Tahirih is no longer eligible to participate as a member of the United Way. If you would like to donate to Tahirih through United Way, please contact your local United Way branch to see if it supports write-in charities, or please donate to Tahirih directly.

Tahirih Hosts Successful Reception Celebrating 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day

Tahirih staff and internsOn Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the Tahirih Justice Center and Tahirih’s new Public Policy Council hosted a reception to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. The guest list consisted of nearly 300 people, including pro bono attorneys, Capitol Hill staffers (representing over 25 Congressional offices), lobbyists, donors, and other Tahirih supporters. The reception provided Tahirih with an invaluable opportunity to call attention to the continuing struggles of Tahirih’s clients, and of women and girls like them worldwide who face violence and oppression. Continue Reading>

Houston Staff Doubles in Size

Since our opening in 2009, Tahirih’s Houston office has made incredible strides with just two staff members: first, Houston Director and Staff Attorney Anne Chandler, and the later addition of a Case Manager. We are pleased to announce that with the hiring of two new staff members, our Houston office’s permanent staff has doubled. Tahirih is also excited to announce that we will continue to grow our office with the addition of a fifth staff member, a dedicated Immigration Attorney (PDF), who we hope to hire early this summer.

With this additional personnel, Tahirih will have greatly expanded capacity to leverage local resources and increase our impact on the lives of immigrant and refugee women in Houston seeking justice. Continue Reading>

Thank You for Investing in Tahirih!

Tahirih client's child holds up a homemade thank you cardThroughout the fall and early winter of 2010, we came to you, Tahirih’s supporters, with news that we were not selected for continued support by a long standing federal grant and an urgent plea for continued and increased support. Many of you—nearly 450 individuals, foundations, and corporations from across the country—responded generously to support our vital programs providing justice to women and girls in need. Your combined efforts helped us raise over $200,000 in critical funds and enabled us to secure the entire $25,000 matching grant generously provided by the Moriah Fund.

Thank you!

Reflections of a Pro Bono Attorney

M. Lisanne Crowley, Partner, Troutman Sanders

Lisanne Crowley, headshotI found Tahirih through my former law partner, Susie Hoffman, the public service partner at Crowell & Moring. I think of Susie as the most dedicated, best connected, and most knowledgeable pro bono practitioner in DC, and asked her for recommendations of organizations that are good to work with and have non-litigation opportunities. Susie enthusiastically recommended Tahirih. I was attracted by her description of the close attorney mentoring and co-counsel relationships Tahirih fosters with outside counsel, as well as their holistic approach to client service. Having had a number of pro bono cases over the years where legal resources were inadequate to address the clients' social, medical, and psychological needs, Tahirih's approach to client service was particularly attractive. Continue Reading >

In the News


In Your Community

Upcoming Events: Join Tahirih attorneys and staff in these upcoming outreach and training opportunities!

  • April 19, May 10—Immigration Remedies for Victims of Crime, Warrenton Police Department Training Center, Warrenton, VA. Not open to the public.
  • April 29—Gender-Based Asylum Law, Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, Elon University, Greensboro, NC. For more information, contact
  • May 12—Immigration Remedies for Women and Girls who are Victims of Gender-Based Violence, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, Fairfax, VA. Not open to the public.
  • June 23—The Mission of the Tahirih Justice Center, The Lion's Club of Woodlands, The Woodlands, TX. Not open to the public.

Since December 1, 2010, Tahirih has conducted outreach or trainings at the following organizations and events:

  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Washington, DC
  • Ashurst Law Firm, Washington, DC
  • Cardozo Law School, Public Interest Career Office, Washington, DC
  • The Center for Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Seminar, Houston, TX
  • Christ the Good Shepherd Church, Houston, TX
  • Florida Coastal School of Law, Jacksonville, FL
  • Galveston Reads, Galveston, TX
  • George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
  • Georgetown Law, Washington, DC
  • Georgetown University, Washington, DC
  • Haynes and Boone, Washington, DC
  • JEB Stuart High School, Falls Church, VA
  • Miles & Stockbridge LLP, Baltimore, MD
  • Physicians for Human Rights, Houston, TX
  • Regional Victim Assistance Training (DCJS), Charlottesville, VA
  • Resource and Crisis Center, Galveston, TX
  • Rice University, Houston, TX
  • State Bar of Texas Access to Justice Poverty Law Conference, Austin, TX
  • Texas Women’s Lawyers, Houston, TX
  • University of Houston Law Center, Houston, TX
  • Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, Mechanicsville, VA
  • Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, Houston, TX
  • The Woodlands Wine and Debate Society, Houston, TX
  • YMCA of Greater Houston, TX

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