Selene Saavedra Roman, 28, a flight attendant who grew up in Dallas was released after six weeks of detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement after her case started getting media attention. As a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipient, Saavedra can’t travel abroad but her employer, Mesa Airlines, wrongly assured her she would be fine when they scheduled her to fly to Mexico in February. But she was taken into custody when she returned to the United States on Feb. 12.
“Being released is an incredible feeling. I cried and hugged my husband and never wanted to let go,” Saavedra, who came to the United States when she was three years old and is now married to a U.S. citizen, said in a statement. “I am thankful and grateful for the amazing people that came to fight for me, and it fills my heart. Thank you everyone that has supported. I am just so happy to have my freedom back.”
The story of Saavedra, a Texas A&M graduate and former kindergarten teacher, quickly went viral as the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA took up her case and started pressuring for her release. “We are deeply sorry Selene and her husband have had to endure this situation. It is patently unfair for someone to be detained for six weeks over something that is nothing more than an administrative error and a misunderstanding,” said Mesa Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein. Hillary Clinton picked up the cause on Friday and called on her Twitter followers to sign a petition demanding Saavedra’s release.