Immigrant Legal Center and Refugee Empowerment Center Have Merged

Date

As of October 1, 2022, Immigrant Legal Center (ILC) and Refugee Empowerment Center (REC) have officially merged under ILC leadership solidifying services and support for immigrants in our community. 

 

Through this merger, we bring together a wealth of expertise, experience, and resources that allow our staff to provide a holistic blend of high-quality services to our newest friends and neighbors in Nebraska and southwest Iowa. 

 

Clients and partners will continue to experience the high-quality immigration legal services and refugee resettlement services you have come to expect from ILC and REC, and our services and processes remain unchanged.

Our passion is to help our clients in the entirety of their needs, to set them up for success and a life without fear. With the merger, we are building a unified organizational culture as the only agency of its kind that serves the legal and transitional support needs of immigrants in the Heartland.

Erik Omar, Executive Director, Immigrant Legal Center

As Board Chair, I’m pleased that our official merger has taken place, and we are moving forward under one leadership, together. Both the REC and ILC boards have been actively and amicably working towards this moment since November 2021, and we are thrilled that this day has come. During this period of historic resettlement and global migration, our team remains dedicated to supporting immigrants with a holistic range of quality services and programs.

Tom Simms, Chair of the Immigrant Legal Center Board of Directors

The REC Board of Directors asked ILC to take over management of REC in November 2021 following the departure of our former executive director, which coincided with the largest period of resettlement in recent history. ILC and REC staff worked together to resettle nearly 600 individuals this year, meeting the high standards that REC is known for. On behalf of the former REC Board of Directors, we are excited that our two organizations are combining to build on our shared legacy of welcoming all to our community.

Anne Meysenburg, former president of Refugee Empowerment Center Board of Directors

Frequently Asked Questions

The ILC board will oversee the newly merged organization which will operate under the leadership team of:

  • Erik Omar, Executive Director
  • Anna Deal, Legal Director
  • Roxana Cortés-Mills, Associate Legal Director
  • Monica Meier, Director of Social Work
  • Tanya DeWolf, Director of Refugee Services
  • Rick Rummel, Director of Finance and Administration
  • Cailan Franz, Director of Development and Communication

There will be no change to our service model. Our legal team and refugee services team will continue to operate in the same fashion. Clients and partners will continue to experience the high-quality immigration legal services and refugee resettlement services you have come to expect from ILC and REC, and our services and processes remain unchanged.

Yes, you can continue to designate your donation to refugee services.

Yes, you can continue to designate your donation to immigration legal services.

The REC 501(c)(3) has been be dissolved and the combined organization will operate under ILC’s EIN number which is 74-3195841.

The Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline, operated by ILC, is a centralized hotline for low-income individuals seeking immigration legal assistance. Any person seeking immigration legal assistance can contact NILAH to be connected with the service provider who can best meet their needs in the shortest amount of time. Learn more about NILAH at immigrantlc.org/nilah or call 1-855-307-6730.

Reception and placement services are provided through a contract with the Department of State. Eligible individuals with refugee status are connected to REC through our national volunteer resettlement agency (VOLAG), the Ethiopian Community Development Council.

There is specific programming available to Afghan and Ukrainian arrivals. Individuals from Afghanistan and Ukraine who are in the United States without permanent status can contact 402-676-5478 to learn more about programming they may be eligible for.

Employment support services are available for immigrants within 5 years of arrival to the United States. To schedule a consultation with an employment specialist, contact 402-676-5478.

Great question! We need volunteers to help with ESL classes, home set-ups, transportation, and more. Contact Nikki Johnson at nikki@refugeeempowerment.org for more information on how you can volunteer.

Immigrant Legal Center has 10 offices located in Nebraska and southwest Iowa.

  • Immigrant Legal Center (Main Office)
    4223 Center St, Omaha, NE 68105
  • Refugee Empowerment Center, a program of Immigrant Legal Center Office
    1111 N 13th Street, Suite 128, Omaha, NE 68102
  • Centro Hispano (Columbus Office)
    3020 18th Street, Suite 7, Columbus, NE 68601
  • Centro Latino of Iowa (Council Bluffs Office)
    300 W Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
  • United Church of Christ (Crete Office)
    440 E 12th Street, Crete, NE 68333
  • College Park at Grand Island (Grand Island Office)
    3180 West U.S. Highway 34, Grand Island, NE 68801
  • Goodwill (Lexington Office)
    2401 Plum Creek Parkway, Suite 2, Lexington, NE 68850
  • Immigrant Legal Center (Lincoln Office)
    1221 N Street, Suite 221, Lincoln, NE 68508
  • Immigrant Legal Center (Nebraska City Office)
    611 Central Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410
  • Immigrant Legal Center (Scottsbluff Office)
    615 S Beltline Highway West, Scottsbluff, NE 69361
  • Unity in Action (South Sioux City Office)
    3900 Dakota Avenue, Suite 11, South Sioux City, NE 68776

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