“They’ve been lost in legal limbo, and it’s getting quite ridiculous,” she said. “Her case is basically the poster child for what happens when you leave these people in legal limbo.”
A MoveOn petition sprang up to free Roman and pulled in more than 24,000 signatures. Many people, including Hillary Clinton, took to Twitter to express outrage over the situation.
This is an awful story: A DACA recipient in good standing was told by her airline she could work on a route to Mexico. Now she’s in detention and ICE is threatening to revoke her status.
Please sign and get the word out: https://t.co/T98oNTwOFY
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 22, 2019
America needs to be better than this
Selene Saavedra Roman: Flight attendant with DACA status released after 6 weeks in ICE detention – The Washington Post https://t.co/nyELDtxI5R
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) March 23, 2019
Selene is an Aggie. She is a CS resident. She pays taxes. She’s been here since she was 3. She’s doing everything correctly to work for citizenship.
— Michael Green (@JMG_III) March 22, 2019
— Eric McCulley 🇺🇸🏳️🌈 (@EMcCulley) March 22, 2019
Imagine following your supervisors instruction might get you deported and loose everything. I hope the airline company that assured her nothing would happen are helping to correct the situation. #FreeSelene https://t.co/pfWAqLjHDd
— Ivan Ib (@datboiivan) March 22, 2019
Thankfully, Roman was finally released from custody on Friday. “I cried and hugged my husband and never wanted to let go,” she 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 to everyone that has supported. I am just so happy to have my freedom back.”
David Watkins, her husband, shared just how traumatic and terrifying the experience had been. The Guardian reported that Watkins could only see Roman for one hour per week, through “two inches of glass.” His wife’s anxiety and depression were “very high.”
“Sometimes you have a nightmare and when you wake up you say, ‘OK, the nightmare is over’. When I go to sleep, I have nightmares. When I wake up, I’m still stuck in the nightmare,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mesa Airlines is apologizing for their error and working to get the charges dropped against Roman.
“We are deeply sorry Selene and her husband have had to endure this situation,” the company said in a statement. “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.”