The Detention Lottery – Recap & Invite

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DNDA, Casa Latina, and Global Law Advocates would like to thank the community for supporting last week’s production of The Detention Lottery, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Your presence as well as your monetary support help to further social justice program like this. Thank you.

On Thursday, November 8th, an audience of about fifty people convened in the Thelma Dewitty Theatre at Youngstown, for an immersive 45-minute, 8-case journey through the fast-moving and emotionally-challenging US Immigration Court process. Yes, 8 cases in 45 minutes – and at a much slower speed than is typical.

We learned from the firsthand experience of a cast of immigration attorneys and practitioners from Global Law Advocates, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and private practices, as well as immigrants, what really happens with individuals, and their families, in the face of threat of removal/deportation. Our current system truly is a lottery; the presiding judge – their history and disposition – can have more impact on the ruling of a case than the circumstances themselves. There is much room for reform, and it begins with a call to all legal workers and the court system to remember we are all human.

The audience were very engaged in the talk-back after the show, generating questions that allowed for eye-opening dialogue. Of particular interest was the case of a young girl in the play who had no representation in court – either legal or familial. Despite her pleas to find her “mommy”, the ruling was to remove her. The attorneys/cast attested that this is a common case with a common result.

We’re grateful for The Detention Lottery creators, and playwright and immigration attorney, Margaret O’Donnell, as well as the cast of immigration attorneys and practitioners. They have gone above and beyond the call in an effort to educate the community, and mobilize us with creative activism.

If you missed last week’s production, you have another opportunity to catch it tonight:
November 14, 2018 – 7:00 at Our Lady Guadalupe Catholic Church

And, if you’d like to get involved in activism around the topic of Immigrants Rights, please click here for a list of resources. If you’re interested in hosting this production, please contact Margaret O’Donnell directly.