The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) commends the Obama administration for expeditiously signing the bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which includes the bill to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). AALDEF’s Anti-Trafficking Initiative provides direct legal representation for trafficked persons in their applications for T Visas and other forms of immigration relief, criminal justice advocacy, and civil litigation. It also engages in community education and policy advocacy on federal, state, and local anti-trafficking legislation.
AALDEF’s Ivy Suriyopas, as Policy Co-Chair of the Freedom Network (USA), met with members of the Senate, House, and the administration no less than ten times over the course of two years, advocating vigorously for bipartisan support of the cornerstone of federal anti-trafficking law. The TVPA provides for critical human services; efficient interagency cooperation and engagement by agencies such as the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, and Department of Homeland Security; and strengthened criminal penalties for perpetrators of human trafficking. The Senate approved the TVPA with overwhelming support – 93-5 – on the anniversary of President Lincoln’s birthday. It is only fitting that the President sign the inclusive VAWA/TVPA that serves victims of domestic violence and human trafficking on the eve of International Women’s Day.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.