Regina Husman and Eveline Rahardja, Daughter and Mother Held by ICE in Santa Ana, Spark Petition Drive

Thousands of people around the world have signed petitions calling for the release of a Cal State Fullerton student and her mother, who have been shuffled around detention facilities and were sitting in a Santa Ana Jail cell at last report.

Biology major Regina Husman, who is vice president of the CSUF Undergraduate Biology Club, and her mother Eveline Rahardja, a church and community volunteer, were detained by U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Oct. 28, two days after
Regina's 20th birthday.

Tara Tidwell Cullen, associate director of communications for the
National Immigrant Justice Center, details their struggle for

Courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Scene from a recent immigration sweep in Phoenix, Arizona (unrelated to the Husman-Rahardja case).

The mother and daughter sought asylum from Indonesia, where they say they would face religious
persecution, but the immigration court rejected their application. Husman and Rahardja have appealed that decision and have received a temporary stay of deportation from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals while they remain in lockup.

Benjamin Young, Husman's boyfriend of six years, launched the
petition to draw attention to Husman and Rahardja's case, hoping the
women can reunite with their friends and relatives–including Husman's
younger sister, a U.S. citizen–in time for Christmas,” writes Cullen, who notes Husman was brought to this country while she was still a minor and has had to withdraw from her classes during the ordeal.

Young's campaign
quickly drew attention though Facebook, a campaign website and other forums, with more than 2,700 people
sending messages in the first five days to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet
, Assistant Secretary of ICE John Morton, and
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Cullen reports.

Her piece goes on to describe the challenges Young, family and friends have faced trying to stay in contact with Husman and Rahardja, who have described hellish conditions behind bars.

“The food was terrible, the facility officers were mean because they
don't know your situation and just treat you like criminals,” Young reportedly says
Husman told him. “Everything is all is extremely traumatic and
stressful. She's extremely homesick and sometimes she just wants to give
up because being there is just too intense.”

Young believes his campaign took off immediately because it's the holiday season and so many know the mother and daughter are good people making positive contributions to their American community. Cullen agrees but notes there are thousands of other similar mothers, daughters, fathers and sons in the exact same predicament–and behind bars.

The petition drive, Cullen concludes, is waking up citizens to “how
broken our country's immigration system really is . . .”

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