REPRESENTING REFUGEES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Asylum and Detention Assistance Program (ADAP)
American Gateways provides legal representation and assistance to asylum seekers and immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We offer Know Your Rights presentations, self-help clinics, and legal representation to asylum seekers and detainees being held in immigration detention centers in Hutto, Pearsall, and the soon to open Karnes detention center. The majority of the clients served by this program are detained asylum seekers.
If you or a loved one have been detained by immigration, you may leave a message on American Gateways' Detainee Line at (512) 478-0546, ext. 204.
What is Asylum?
Asylum is an immigration status available to immigrants who fear returning to their country of origin because they have experienced or fear they will experience persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group.
Asylum is similar to refugee status. Both are based on the same five types of persecution, but asylum is granted to individuals already present in the US, while refugees obtain their status before coming to the US.
Why are Asylum Seekers and Immigrants Detained?
About 300,000 foreign nationals are detained annually by ICE. These individuals include:
Asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution and who were apprehended by immigration officials as they entered the United States.
Immigrants who were detained by local law enforcement and who have been convicted of a crime.
Immigrants who were detained by local law enforcement and but were cleared of any criminal charges.
Immigrants who were taken into ICE custody during a raid on a workplace or other location.
What Services Does American Gateways Provide in the ADAP Program?
Legal representation is given to asylum seekers and detained immigrants.
Group presentations about immigrant detainees’ legal rights under US immigration law are provided. These presentations, given weekly at the South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall are part of the National Legal Orientation Program (LOP) administered through the Vera Institute of Justice. American Gateways also provides group presentations at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor.
Consultations and Referrals
American Gateways provides consultations and referrals for asylum seekers, detainees, family and friends of detainees.
Why is This Important?
Acquiring legal representation is one of the most difficult challenges facing immigrants held in detention centers. Unlike detainees in criminal proceedings, detainees in immigration proceedings are NOT guaranteed the right to legal representation, and many detainees have no access to an attorney or to legal information about their case. Consequently, many immigrants are detained and deported without knowing their legal rights, including immigrants who may be eligible to remain in the United States. For those individuals seeking asylum, deportation to their home country may present a danger to their lives, and access to representation is crucial to their safety.
American Gateways depends on individuals and businesses to help fund our work helping asylum seekers and detained immigrants. Please consider making a donation by clicking "Give Online" below.