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Holly's News From Washington
Washington is coming back to life after 16 days of government shutdown. IJM’s friends in Congress and at the State Department are back at their desks, which makes me very happy. I thought it would be hard to get meetings when legislative aides came back to overflowing desks, but I was wrong. People who serve in government care about violence against children and adults whether they are furloughed because of the shutdown or not. They are eager to help IJM and our clients.
This might be a fanciful notion, but I think that the cause of ending modern-day slavery can actually bring Democrats and Republicans together in ways that almost nothing else can.
Consider this: legislation IJM is supporting in the House and Senate that would make the State Department Trafficking in Persons Office into a full-fledged Bureau, is being strongly supported by some of the most conservative and most liberal members of Congress!
Combating slavery and helping one of our government’s very best institutions, the Trafficking in Persons Office, do a better job by raising their status within the State Department bureaucracy is something that Democrats and Republicans agree on—at a time when Congress has never been more bitterly divided.
Part of the reason for this collaboration is that Members and Senators and their staff are hearing from the American people. They’re hearing you. They’re hearing me. They’re hearing our message: We hate slavery, and we want our government to do something to stop it.