Learn About Our Pro Bono Program - Is it right for you?
Because of support from attorneys like you, new immigrants to America get the high quality legal services they need to join our American family and begin a new life free from torture and abuse.
Sign Up for an Online Pro Bono Orientation
American Gateways is committed to justice for immigrants because we believe that everyone- regardless of immigration status- should be allowed to demonstrate their legal reason to be in the United States. Far too many people, with a legal reason to be here, are detained or deported simply because they can't afford to hire a private immigration lawyer. Furthermore, immigrants do not have a legal right to a court-appointed attorney in immigration matters and most do not qualify for government-funded legal assistance programs. Our work is focused on providing high quality legal services to newcomers, regardless of their ability to pay.
Why We Need You
American Gateways in the last year alone provided services that benefited over 16,000 people and won 99% of the cases we took for victims of crime or survivors of violence, but the demand for our services continues to outpace our ability to meet it. Thousands of clients are turned away each year simply because we do not have the resources- staff or money- to help them, even though they may have valid claims to stay in the US.
Do I need to be an immigration attorney?
No. We provide you with training and support throughout your pro bono case.
What kinds of cases might I get?
We will usually assign you an asylum or U-Visa case.
Who are the immigrants seeking asylum?
Geopolitical challenges across the globe have forced many in fear for their lives to flee their home countries and seek political asylum in the United States. When these new immigrants present themselves at our borders, they are taken and held in a detention center. While entitled to representation at no cost to the federal government, access to private representation is very limited when you are poor and English is not your native language. Men, women, children, families - who have fled persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group are our clients.
Who qualifies for a U-Visa?
U-Visas are available to victims of crime who have suffered substantially as a result of the crime committed against them, AND have cooperated with law enforcement to bring the perpetrator to justice. Fears and threats of deportation prevent many victims of crimes like human trafficking and domestic violence from reporting these crimes and cooperating with law enforcement. By offering those survivors who report the crime and cooperate with law enforcement a legal immigration status, we empower immigrant survivors of abuse to leave an abusive situation and report the crimes committed against them, without fearing deportation.