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Our Mission

To champion the dignity and human rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through exceptional immigration legal services at no or low cost, education and advocacy

“American Gateways has provided training to our case managers on changes in immigration law and community resources. They regularly provide invaluable legal support to Saint Louise House families in need of immigration legal services, playing a huge part in helping families stay together, feel more secure, and gain financial stability.”

Counselor and Case Manager, St. Louise House

“American Gateways provides an enormously valuable service to some of those most in need in our community – detained immigrants and asylums seekers in Texas’ sprawling detention system. They are also a partner on community efforts like Grassroots Leadership’s Hutto Visitation Program that better the lives of those in detention and build a support system for immigrants in Texas.”


Executive Director, Grassroots Leadership

“The work of the American Gateways team inspires hope and compassion. Those who have the opportunity to collaborate with them quickly see how their professional services come in tandem with a dedication to understating the often complex human experiences of every individual. They invariably go above and beyond as collaborators to foster the resilience and strengths of those they serve.”


MSSW, Caseworker, Refugee Services of Texas

“American Gateways is one of the most important service providers for immigrants across Texas. I have seen their staff step in to provide crucial legal services that have helped hundreds of families and in the process transformed lives.”


Founder and Former Executive Director of the Worker’s Defense Project

“High quality legal representation is essential for justice. This is especially true for immigration law. The skilled attorneys and staff at American Gateways are dedicated to justice, and I am proud to endorse them.”


Editor-in-Chief, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin (Lexis Nexis)

“I know of no other organization that does as effective legal and advocacy work as does American Gateways on behalf of immigrant victims of family violence, people seeking asylum, and victims of human trafficking. The dedication, competence, and compassion of the staff is exceptional.”


Founder of the Texas Civil Rights Project

“American Gateways has changed my life forever. This program helped me overcome my life barriers obstacles. The staff always remained trustworthy, friendly, and professional. I am now continuing to better my life by furthering my education in college. Thank you American Gateways!”


former client

“For more than 25 years, American Gateways has been providing free and low-cost legal services to immigrants in the Austin area. Because of American Gateways, many immigrants have been able to establish their legal right to live and work in the in the United States.”


Co-Director, Casa Marianella Legal Clinic


American Gateways has served the Central Texas immigrant community since 1987. Founded as the Political Asylum Project of Austin (PAPA), we began as a dedicated group of volunteers working to serve increasing number of refugees fleeing war in Central America. Since then we have grown to provide a broad range of immigration legal services to low-income individuals and families throughout the region. Our new name reflects our expanded services and our objective of promoting the rights of our clients through every portal of immigration relief.

Who We

 American Gateways serves the low-income immigrant communities in Austin, San Antonio, Waco, and throughout Central Texas. In addition to the cities of Austin, San Antonio, and Waco, we serve twenty-three counties in the region, including Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Coryell, Falls, Fayette, Frio, Guadalupe, Hays, Karnes, Lampasas, Lee, Limestone, Llano, McLennan, Milam, San Saba, Travis, and Williamson.

What We Do


American Gateways is one of the largest immigration legal services providers in Texas. Our clients receive culturally sensitive, trauma-informed legal representation from start to finish of a case. Our staff are experts in the areas of:

  • Asylum (for individuals and families fleeing persecution in their home country)

  • Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) Petitions (for battered spouses, parents, and/or children)

  • T Visas (for survivors of trafficking)

  • U Visas (for survivors of certain types of violent crimes that occurred in the U.S.)

  • Representation before the San Antonio Immigration Court

  • Permanent Residency and Naturalization

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

  • Family-based Petitions

American Gateways is also the only nonprofit in the state to provide legal orientation, immigration workshops, and pro bono legal representation at three immigrant detention facilities. Our Austin office serves the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas. Our San Antonio office serves the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas and the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas.




A central feature of our mission is to engage and educate immigrant communities, as well as local stakeholders, about immigration law and process, an individual’s rights within this process, and forms of relief for which an individual might be eligible. If you or your organization is interested in a training from our staff, please submit a training request below.


American Gateways (“AG”) does not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, race,  color, national origin, sex, age, disability, political beliefs, or religion when providing services to its clients. AG does not discriminate in its provision of services to anyone on any basis.  

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