'Dungeons & Dragons' Artists Allegedly Detained by ICE, Denied Entry to US
Three Dungeons & Dragons artists were reportedly denied entry into the United States after [...]
Three Dungeons & Dragons artists were reportedly denied entry into the United States after traveling to the country for a concept push.
The artists — Anna Steinbaur, Magali Villeneuve, and Titus Lunter — were allegedly detained at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by ICE officials while en route to the United States for a brainstorming sessions. The three artists were supposed to be involved in a meeting to discuss ideas for upcoming Dungeons & Dragons content. Villeneuve will have her art featured on the cover of the upcoming Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica publication, and Steinbaur and Lunter have both contributed to previous D&D and Magic: The Gathering publications.
According to the reports, the three artists were detained for violating their ESTA visa waivers, an automated system that determines whether a person can travel to the United States without a visa. After six hours of being detained at the airport, the artists were handcuffed and taken to an ICE detention center where they were placed in cells without beds for 11 hours.
The following morning, the group were escorted back to the airport and then placed on flights back to their respective home countries.
Lunter provided a full account of what happened on his Twitter page, which can be read below.
This is what happened:— Titus 'Tired AF' Lunter (@TitusLunter) August 27, 2018
Please don't point fingers. It's a very complicated situation and we are figuring out what exactly went wrong and why. Mostly, we are tired, scared, glad and overwhelmed. A huge thanks to your support and love. pic.twitter.com/c9hadptU8f
The artists were likely detained because ICE determined that they were in the country for paid work, which violates the terms of the ESTA visa waiver. While waiver recipients can have business meetings, they cannot be paid for any work done at the meeting. ComicBook.com reached out to Wizards for clarification on whether the artists were being paid to attend the meetings, but they declined to comment as of press time.
Because the artists were found to have violated their visa waivers, all three had their ESTA eligibility permanently canceled. That means that they'll need to apply for a full visa if they ever want to visit the United States again. However, Wizards of the Coast has publicly stated that all three illustrators will continue to work for the company. In addition, one of the artists stated that Wizards is working to make sure their careers don't suffer any negative effects from the incident. "We need help and they are giving it," said Villeneuve in a statement to the Hipsters of the Coast blog.
The incident ignited a strong reaction among many D&D fans, especially those who have vocally spoken out against the United States' recent change in enforcing their immigration policies. Some fans also pointed out Wizards' perceived lack of a response to an incident, but (as shown above) the company appears to be prioritizing the well being of the artists over making a longer statement about the incident.2comments