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Flight attendant ‘just so happy’ to be free

Photo: AP


A flight attendant just released from the custody of U.S. immigration authorities after more than a month of detention says her release feels “incredible.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it released Selene Saavedra Roman on Friday evening from a Conroe, Texas, detention center.

In a statement issued through a spokesman, Saavedra Roman said that when she left the detention center, “I cried and hugged my husband and never wanted to let go.”

She expressed gratitude for those who argued for her release, saying “it fills my heart.”

Roman’s attorney, Belinda Martinez Arroyo, said Mesa Airlines had mistakenly reassured the enrollee in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that she could work a flight to Mexico, but Saavedra Roman was detained Feb. 12 upon her return to Houston.

Flight attendant detained by immigration on return to US

A flight attendant who traveled to Mexico for work through a program for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children has been detained.

Attorney Belinda Arroyo said Friday that 28-year-old Selene Saavedra Roman raised concerns about whether she could work an international flight due to her immigration status.

Arroyo says Mesa Airlines mistakenly reassured the enrollee in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

U.S. authorities stopped Saavedra Roman on her return to Houston.

Mesa Airlines apologized and joined the Association of Flight Attendants in asking for her release.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Saavedra Roman didn't have a valid document to enter the country.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says on its website that those who travel outside the country without permission are no longer covered by the program.