November 9, 2017
AUSTIN, TX – American Gateways is pleased to announce a new partnership with the cities of Austin and San Antonio as part the Vera Institute of Justice’s Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Cities Network, a multi-jurisdiction network dedicated to providing publicly funded representation for people facing deportation.
Through this partnership American Gateways will provide legal representation to Austin and San Antonio residents who are facing detention deportation as a result of increasingly aggressive enforcement actions from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The objective is to ensure universal representation for indigent members of the immigrant community, a measure proven to dramatically increase the likelihood of indigent immigrants prevailing and returning to their families, jobs and communities. The provision of legal representation to those facing deportation helps maintain trust in governmental institutions and supports public safety for all local residents.
“Our decades of experience working with the Central Texas immigrant community have shown us that cities are safer, more livable and more culturally vibrant when municipal governments have strong, collaborative relationships with the immigrant community, irrespective of their immigration status,” says Rebecca Lightsey, Executive Director of American Gateways. “We’re delighted to support Austin’s and San Antonio’s participation in the SAFE Cities program and commend their renewed commitment to ensuring that all of our friends and neighbors can count on their fundamental rights being protected.”
American Gateways attorneys will begin work on the program effective immediately and aim to represent dozens of additional clients in their deportation proceedings over the first year of the program.