Get Involved-Spotlight: American Gateways
American Gateways envisions an enriched society in Central Texas and beyond where immigrants are empowered to live, work, thrive and contribute to their communities. We are a non-profit organization that promotes justice for immigrants and refugees by providing free and low cost legal services and education. American Gateways is a champion for immigrants that works each day to leverage key resources in support of the human rights of immigrants and to dispel myths and misconceptions about immigrants and immigration.
American Gateways Programs
- American Gateways provides legal representation to refugees from around the world who may apply for asylum in the U.S. In preparing their claims, we assist individuals in proving a “well-founded fear of persecution” if they were to return to their country of origin. We offer representation to such asylum seekers and other immigrants who are often detained by the Department of Homeland Security while their cases are processed and/or who are facing deportation.
- We regularly visit detention centers such as T. Don Hutto and Pearsall to provide group rights presentations to detainees so that they may better represent themselves. We also advocate on behalf of the rights of detained immigrants. Detained immigrants often have a legal reason to be in the U.S.; however, in many cases they cannot afford an attorney and as a consequence they may be deported and separated from their families.
- American Gateways provides legal counsel to immigrants and their children who are victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Battered immigrants and their children may self-petition for residency in the U.S. without the sponsorship of the abusive spouse or parent, as provided under the Violence Against Women Act.
- American Gateways offers legal counsel to low-income immigrants who are filing family-based visa petitions, applications for adjustment of status and U.S. citizenship.
- American Gateways also conducts outreach, education and training for immigrants, the public, governmental agencies, other non-profits and community groups, private attorneys and law enforcement on immigrant legal issues, and advocates on behalf of immigrants.
In 2009, American Gateways closed more than 1,500 cases, benefiting more than 4,500 immigrants. Our educational efforts reached an additional 6,000 people in Central and South Texas. We collaborate regularly with dozens of social service, non-profit and governmental agencies in order to address the legal needs of immigrants and refugees.
American Gateways depends on volunteers to assist with document translation, assisting immigrants in obtaining and renewing Temporary Protected Status, to help operate our office, raise money and organize special events. Attorneys and law firms are invited to become pro bono partners and take cases for our clients in need. Individuals, businesses, places of worship and other groups are invited to get involved as volunteers and supporters.
For more information: www.americangateways.org
Please direct inquiries to:
Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator
512-478-0546, ext. 214