Dinner Against Detention

Nicole Pasulka & Amelia Schonbek

Date: Jul 11th

Hi all,

We—Amelia and Nicole—want to invite you to a dinner to raise money for a revolving bond fund for people locked in ICE detention centers. The current state of immigrant detention in the United States is a human rights crisis. As of late May, there were 52,000 migrants—a record high—in detention, often in inhumane and dangerous conditions. Many will be locked up for years waiting for their immigration cases to be heard. You all know this, right? It’s real and horrific.

We also know that judges often set bonds for asylum seekers between $5,000-$15,000, effectively holding people fleeing for their lives hostage until they either pay or give up and ask to be deported. People who manage to post their bonds are able to live with their communities while they pursue their cases, and this gives them a much higher chance of winning asylum. So come, have dinner with us, and let’s help get people out.

The Details:

This will be a casual, delicious, three-course meal in Brooklyn on July 11th at 7:30 pm. We have room for 20 people at the table. If you want to come (please come!) we’re asking for a $40 minimum donation. We’ll have gluten free and vegan options, and a cash bar.

If you can’t make it or can’t spare the full $40 donation, you can definitely still contribute to the fundraiser! If you click the "tickets" link, there's an option where you can give any amount--large or small. We know that some of you aren’t in New York City right now, but we still wanted to get in touch, let you know what we’re up to, and give you an easy way to donate to the bond fund if you want.

We'll cover the cost of the food, and St. Lydia's (a progressive, queer-affirming church) is generously donating their space. Everything we raise will go directly to Al Otro Lado’s Vida Libre Bond Fund. Al Otro Lado is a bi-national, direct legal services organization serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico. Just last week, five people were released from ICE detention because Al Otro Lado paid their bonds. Here’s a letter from a 19-year-old asylum-seeker they helped. They are doing amazing work.

The organization’s bond fund is “revolving,” which means that money paid to cover one asylum-seeker’s bail is returned to the fund once that person has met their legal obligations. Then, it can be spent to help another asylum seeker, and on and on.

At the dinner, we’ll have more information about bond funds and immigrant support, but there’s no programming or entertainment planned. This is a chance to meet cool people, eat good food, and toss a little of your disposable cash towards a very urgent cause.

We're so excited to have a meal with you all and actually do something about this nightmare. Feel free to share this invitation with your friends and family. Though space for this dinner is limited, we’re hoping to do this again. In the meantime, get in touch, hit us up with questions or ideas, donate now, donate later--it’s all good!

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