An Urgent Message from the Executive Director

American Gateways was formed 27 years ago in response to a refugee crisis in Central America. Today, we stand ready to honor our founders and again provide legal services to the immigrant children and families fleeing their homes in Central America.Three weeks ago we were saddened to learn that the men's detention center in Karnes, Texas was being converted to the nation's 3rd family detention center. I visited the Karnes detention center on July 31st and it was emptied of the men it usually holds and ready for families to arrive the following day. Colorful murals with butterflies and rainbows now fill the walls and the storage room has row after row of little pink and blue t-shirts, tiny little dresses and jeans. But, all the new clothing and kid friendly murals in the world will not change the basic fact that little kids and infants are being incarcerated. It breaks my heart and it makes me furious...read more.
 

Feds Start "no bond" Policy on Immigrants at Karnes

By Guillermo Contreras
San Antonio Express-News
August 27, 2014 

 SAN ANTONIO — One by one, young Central American mothers at an immigration detention center in Karnes City told a judge in San Antonio via videoconference Wednesday that they have relatives or others waiting to receive them here. Some cited fears of persecution if they returned to their native countries. “Anywhere except El Salvador,” Veronica Perez told Immigration Judge Glenn P. McPhaul, when he asked what country should be listed for return if she were deported. “I don't want to go back. ... I'm very afraid.” But if the government has its way, Perez and her two young children detained with her in Karnes City are going…..read more.

 

Central TX Legal Community Steps Up to Address Border Crisis

Austin, TX — Children and families are fleeing Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador in record numbers. Since January 2014, over 60,000 unaccompanied children have presented themselves to law enforcement on the southern U. S. border. The number is estimated to rise to 90,000 by years end. Without an attorney, these children....read more.

 

American Gateways Serves DREAMers on DACA Day

August 16, 2014
Austin - Before 2012, undocumented young people lived with an uncertain future. How would they get a job without a work permit? Would someone report them as undocumented? Would they be deported to a country they had never known?  On June 15, 2012, for the first time in their lives these young people were given a glimmer of hope that they could....read more.

Applying for Services

You do not need an appointment. Just visit our offices Monday thru Thursday between 9 am - 5 pm. Here's what will happen:

  • A member of our staff will talk with you about your immigration status. We will listen to your story, ask questions about your immigration situation, and your income. It is best if you have a babysitter for your children. We know that sometimes your story is very painful to tell, and having your children with you can make it more difficult. 
  • We gather all the interviews we've done that week, and our attorneys and accredited representatives review every application each Friday. We wish we could take every case, but unfortunately we can'ts. It's not necessarily because you don't have a good case, it's because we don't have enough staff to take all of the cases that come to us. 
  • You will be notified by mail if we are not able to take your case. You should get the letter by the following Friday.
  • If we are able to take your case, your attorney or accredited representative will contact you.
  • If you need housing, medical care, or counseling - please let our staff know when you visit our office. We will provide you with a list of providers.

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