Flight Attendant With DACA Released After Spending More than a Month in an Immigration Detention Facility

According to reporting from NBC News, Selene Saavedra Roman — a 28-year-old flight attendant from Phoenix, Arizona — has finally been released after spending more than a month in an immigration detention facility. An enrollee in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Ms. Saavedra Roman arrived in the United States when she was just three years old.

On February 12th, 2019, she was taken into custody by ICE after landing back in the United States following a flight to Mexico. Under Trump Administration rules, there are significant restrictions on DACA recipients’ ability to travel outside of the country. Despite what she was told by her employer, Ms. Saavedra Roman was not permitted to leave the country.

The Flight Attendant Received Erroneous Information from Mesa Airlines

Selene Saavedra Roman is a flight attendant for Mesa Airlines. NBC News notes that she explicitly informed the airline that she could not travel to Mexico or Canada because of her immigration status. She requested not to be staffed on any of those trips. However, Mesa Airlines mistakenly informed her that she could indeed travel to Mexico without any problems. As a direct result of this massive administrative error, Ms. Saavedra Roman was detained at George Bush Intercontinental Airport and held in an American immigration facility for more than five weeks.

Never Forget the Human Cost of Our Draconian Immigration System

It is always important to keep an eye on broad trends in immigration enforcement. We should all be aware of the fact that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is currently detaining a record number of people. At the same time, we can never lose sight of the direct human toll of our harsh immigration system.

Selene Saavedra Roman’s story is especially heart wrenching, but it is also far from unique. She was brought to the United States as a young child, she grew up here, and made a life for herself here. She was simply doing her job as a flight attendant, and because her employer made a huge error, she paid a major price.

This case shows how vulnerable Dreamers are under our current immigration system. CBS News observed that Ms. Saavedra Roman was finally released following a major outcry on social media. Her plight was boosted by many high profile people, including Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, there are many other stories that are just as cruel and heartbreaking as this that will not get attention. Permanent legal status that provides true protection is the only way to get justice for the nearly four million Dreamers in this country.  

We Support DACA Recipients and Immigrants in Los Angeles, California

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, we are proud to be the premier law firm in Southern California. If you need immigration law guidance, our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney is standing by, ready to help. To set up a confidential initial consultation, please feel free to call our law office today at (213) 262-2000.