OTOC leaders have been working with Omaha’s Salvadoran people who are recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), an immigration status given in 2001 because of the major earthquake in El Salvador. These families have been living and working in Omaha since then, renewing their TPS status every eighteen months. Now their immigration status is threatened as the White House Administration threatens to cut their protection along with many other countries that have TPS in the US.

Media Coverage of Temporary Protected Status:

On November 9, Nebraska Lutheran Bishop Brian Maas, Catholic Archdiocese Chancellor Rev. Tim McNeill, and College of St. Mary President Maryanne Stevens, joined OTOC in an OWH Guest Column asking for an 18-month extension of Temporary Protective Status (TPS).

To see the article, click here: OWH Opinion Guest Column

On November 4, OWH feature writer Erin Grace wrote a  front-page story about Wilfredo Rivera, a 20-year resident of Omaha who is a supervisor in a meat packing plant, homeowner, church member and father of U.S. citizen children. Erin met Wilfredo though OTOC and invited the public to hear Wilfredo and others at a November 6 OTOC/IPL Issue Café at Urban Abbey.

To see the article click here: OWH Grace Article



Wilfredo with his daughter- cover photo of newspaper article


Local Actions:

Mario, the head of the Salvadoran TPS Society in Omaha

On November 6, ninety-five concerned community members came to an OTOC/IPL Issue Café at Urban Abbey to hear from Creighton Law Professor Dave Weber and 4 long-time Omaha residents with TPS. OTOC leaders challenged those present to educate their congregations and members of Congress about extending TPS so that Salvadorans, Hondurans, Haitians and others who have lived productive lives in the US for many years will not be forced back to homelands where they would be in extreme danger. 

On October 14 OTOC, IPL, San Andres Lutheran and TPS Association of Nebraska shared a papusa and tamale dinner so where   TPS families shared their stories with 70 OTOC and community leaders. The benefit raised funds to help San Andres join OTOC and for 13 Omaha residents with TPS  to travel to Washington D.C to talk to their members of Congress about extending TPS


OTOC Leaders meeting TPS families over shared meal




Get Involved:

We need your help to protect these members of our community. 

Please call our Congressional representatives about our neighbors who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  We have been told that our senators and representatives actually count the number of calls they receive about specific issues and are more likely to respond to issues for which they have received many calls.

Senator Deb Fischer  202-224-6551

Senator Ben Sasse 202-224-4224

Representative Don Bacon  202-225-4155  (most of Omaha area)

Representative Jeff Fortenberry 202-225-4806  (some parts of Sarpy County)


Sample Script you can use:

“Hi my name is ________, and I live at ______________ in ___________.  I’m calling about our fellow Nebraskans who have Temporary Protected Status and are now at risk for deportation. 

There are over 440,000 persons with TPS in the US.  They were granted TPS as a result of armed conflict or natural disasters.  Many of them have lived in the US for years because they can’t safely return to their countries of origin.  They work and own homes in the US.  Their children and grandchildren are US citizens.  

Over 400,000 of them are from two of the most dangerous countries in the world – El Salvador and Honduras— or Haiti where almost 60,000 people remain in makeshift camps after the 2010 earthquake. 

I am asking that you

  • Become informed about Temporary Protected Status
  • Consider the risks to these families of returning to unstable and dangerous countries
  • Affirm the importance that we as US citizens place on family unity. Thank you”

You can also write a letter to the editor to create more positive press in Omaha

Please consider writing a letter to the editor for the Public Pulse section of the Omaha World Herald. This will help spread the word and show that people are concerned if many people are writing in.

The parts of a letter (should be under 200 words):

– Start with why it matters to you- personal connection that gives you credibility. Can be your own story of immigration, someone you know, or Wilfredo’s story

-Then use a shared belief or value that most people would agree with- family, American Dream, upward mobility, community, equality, etc.

– Share a fact or story that shows that the value is not being upheld.

            -Build off of another story or event that you read or attended:

– “Grace: In Omaha nearly 20 years, El Salvador native with protected status faces uncertain future.” Omaha World Herald. Nov. 4, 2017

-“Brian Maas, Maryanne Stevens and Timothy F. McNeil: Don’t end protected status” Omaha World Herald. Nov. 9, 2017

-OTOC Issues Café at Urban Abbey with Wilfredo Rivera on November 6 

-OTOC TPS Factsheet (HERE)

Submit letters to: OWH Public Pulse

You will need to give your name, phone number, and address (number and address are not posted with the letter).

You could also send this same letter to your Members of Congress. Just do a search for their website and look for their comment form under “Contact”