Big Win for Anti Sex-Trafficking Efforts
Last summer, we told you about a very important Supreme Court asylum case that stood to hinder sex-trafficking prosecutions for years to come if not corrected.
In a Washington Times piece, titled, “Sex-trafficking prosecutions just got tougher,” Dr. Janice Crouse, Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Beverly LaHaye Institute, and I wrote in detail about a case CWA was getting involved in through an amicus brief. We highlighted not only the human tragedy and injustice of the case, but also the public policy consequences of betraying the trust of people who are aiding us in identifying and bringing to justice those involved in the sex slavery trade.
Briefly, Edmond Demiraj agreed to testify against Bill Bedini, a dangerous Albanian sex trafficking gangster, in exchange for protection. But before he could testify, Bedini escaped and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) went back on its promise of protection. This left Mr. Demiraj and his family at the mercy of this criminal, and he and his family suffered a great deal as a result (click here for a more complete account).
Today, we are happy to report that after years of appealing in the courts and to the Department of Justice directly, Mr. Demiraj has obtained asylum for his family. There is no question that this outcome is not only great for the Demiraj family but also for the broader efforts against sex-trafficking in which CWA has been highly involved.
Here is what Mr. Demiraj told me in a conversation after he heard the news:
I feel great; I have no words to describe how I am feeling. I feel born again. Concerned Women for America’s efforts and everyone, everyone involved saved my life and my family’s life. It was very tough for me when I first came here for many years, but as soon as organizations like yours got involved, everything changed.
I’m especially grateful for my family. My son couldn’t believe it. He kept asking me “Dad, are you sure we are going to be legal and safe?” When I told him yes, that we heard from the government, he said, “Finally, justice is straight.”
This result, though ultimately possible only through the Providence of God, highlights the importance of CWA’s voice in the public square. The voice of 500,000 members concerned about injustice, liberty and freedom is a powerful one, and it should encourage us to keep fighting with renewed vigor.
Here is what attorney Michael Gottlieb, who represented Mr. Demiraj, told us:
It is extremely gratifying to be able to help a family like the Demirajs — true American heroes whose only wish was to live here, legally and safely, raise their children, and contribute to their communities. Sometimes the law is all that is needed to ensure the fulfillment of that wish. Other times, as in this case, the support of groups like CWA are essential to restore fairness to the process. We were honored to have such overwhelming support from a broad coalition of the fair-minded.
Be encouraged. Together we are making a difference!
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