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AMERICAN GATEWAYS: Closing of San Antonio center won’t stem legal help to immigrants on the run

American Gateways says the shutdown of a San Antonio center that once served thousands of marooned immigrants doesn’t mean asylum-seeking migrants no longer need help.

The City of San Antonio this week announced the closing as of Friday Oct. 25 of the Migrant Resource Center at 400 North St. Mary’s Street. Last summer, up to 450 migrants a day–mostly families with children from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala who had requested asylum–relied on the center. The center also served sizable numbers of migrants from Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Haiti.

But the flow ebbed. Rebecca Lightsey, executive director of American Gateways, reacted: “The center’s closing does not mean asylum-seeking immigrants–many fleeing for their lives–no longer need legal aid.” “Issues persist,” Lightsey said. “For instance, multiple immigrants have been told to check in at the incorrect Immigration and Customs Enforcement address or to attend hearings on incorrect dates. We’ll remain vigilant.”

American Gateways has served the Central and South Texas immigrant community for more than 30 years. We champion the dignity and human rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through exceptional immigration legal services, at low or no cost, and through education and advocacy. From offices in San Antonio, Waco and Austin, we serve residents of 23 counties. Reporters may email Elizabeth Almanza to follow up.

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