American Gateways


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

Our History

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 Serve

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 counties in the region, including Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coryell, Falls, Fayette, Frio, Hays, Karnes, Lampasas, Lee, Llano, McLennan, Milam, San Saba, Travis, and Williamson.

Our Services

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 four 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, the Karnes County Residential Center for families in Karnes City, Texas, and the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.

Together, we can change the world. One person, one message, one brick at a time.