We provide high-quality legal services, education, and advocacy to low-income immigrants in Nebraska and southwest Iowa. We have offices in Omaha, Columbus, Council Bluffs, Crete, Grand Island, Lexington, Nebraska City, and Scottsbluff. We serve immigrants of all faiths, races, abilities, and ages, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable--victims of domestic violence, unaccompanied minors, and those who would be persecuted if returned to their countries.
Our Scottsbluff office recently opened in August of 2018. Our legal team includes Rural Capacity Building (RCB) Attorney, Brian Edwards, and RCB Paralegal, Chabelly Gurrola.
The Rural Capacity Inclusion Partnership (RCIP) is a collaboration of statewide organizations committed to working with rural communities to create a more welcoming and inclusive rural Nebraska. RCIP organizations include Immigrant Legal Center, Nebraska Appleseed, Centro Hispano, Center for Rural Affairs, Multicultural Coalition of Grand Island, and Heartland Workers Center. RCIP organizations are working together to respond to the local context with intentionality by providing technical assistance and resources to communities and their residents and strategically working toward building capacity to sustain the local needs.
The goal is to support, foster, and follow the guidance of local leaders who are already spearheading or contributing to that work through leadership development, connecting people to services, building capacity to provide services locally, and public education, and outreach.
Contact the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline (NILAH) at 1-855-307-6730 to determine eligibility for a consultation. NILAH's intake process allows ILC attorneys to provide you with a high-quality legal consultation in a timely manner.
In 2015, Mamie needed an immigration attorney. A relative, who knew Dearra Godinez, our Rural Capacity Building Managing Attorney, brought Mamie to her office.
Mamie was born in Liberia. When civil war broke out, she made her way with her family to Guiglo, Ivory Coast, and lived there as a refugee. She gave birth to a beautiful boy, Wilfred, in 1999. Civil war broke out in the Ivory Coast in 2002, and conditions were not good within the refugee camp. Mamie took Wilfred to his paternal grandmother, who offered to take him in and keep him safe. Unfortunately, the grandmother's home was attacked, and Wilfred was separated from his family. Mamie later learned that Wilfred was killed during the attack, along with his father and grandmother.
A YEAR LATER, MAMIE WAS RESETTLED IN THE UNITED STATES AS A REFUGEE
More than a decade later, in 2015, Mamie's brother, who resides in West Africa, called her. He asked if she remembered their friend from the refugee camp, Alfred. Alfred had called Mamie's brother and told him that Wilfred was alive. Mamie's brother was skeptical and unwilling to tell his sister and put her through the heartache if this was not in fact Wilfred. He went to see the young man for himself. Alfred and Mamie's brother knew it was Wilfred the moment they saw and spoke with him, so they called Mamie. She immediately came to Dearra. She told Dearra that she had found her son and needed help getting him to the United States.
Mamie and Dearra started by filing an I-130 Petition in November of 2015. Of course, a DNA parentage test, among other things, were required to proceed and establish that Wilfred was, in fact, Mamie's son. Dearra helped the mother and son complete the DNA test and their paperwork. The results of the testing revealed Shelia was in fact the biological mother of Samuel. More than two years after applying, Wilfred received his visa and booked his flight.
WILFRED, NOW 18 YEARS OLD, ARRIVED IN OMAHA ON CHRISTMAS DAY, 2017
Wilfred and his mom saw each other for the first time since the teenager was 3 years old. Wilfred and her family wanted to express their gratitude to the entire staff for bringing her a Christmas Miracle. She invited us to the airport to witness what ILC does for families. Wilfred's extended family welcomed him to Omaha with open arms, and Dearra helped to capture the moment for the family in pictures. Overjoyed, Mamie told Dearra that the ILC family is her family now.