Houston woman who was detained in Dubai returning to US

A Houston woman who’s been detained in Dubai for months isn’t any longer. After being held in Dubai since April, Tierra Young Allen is on an airplane headed back to the United States.

"She received a call from the prosecution court letting her know she could come and have her travel ban released. I was like go now, go now, go now," laughs Tina Baxter.

Laughing is something Baxter hasn’t done in months since her daughter was detained in Dubai in April, charged with the "crime" of yelling at a rental car agent and she actually faced jail time.

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"I’ve just been praying that she returns home safely. I’ve been praying that she didn’t end up in prison," Baxter explains.   

Her prayers have been answered.

Allen found out Friday the criminal charges against her had been dropped and the travel ban would be lifted but the office that could make it happen was already closed.

First thing Monday, the American truck driver rushed right over to the Dubai facility and Tuesday with her passport once again in her hand she hopped on a flight headed back to the U.S. and sent her mom photos of herself on the plane.

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"Those pictures brought me joy when I saw her sitting there safely," Baxter smiles. 

Actually, Allen hit a snag there at the airport security checkpoint. "They told her oh you have a travel ban," says Baxter. After a few heart-pounding minutes, it was all straightened out and Tierra was on an airplane leaving Dubai.

This grateful mom says her daughter is only free after a lot of hard work from Radha Stirling who’s the founder of the London-based non-profit organization Detained in Dubai and thanks to Senator Ted Cruz’s Office and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.


"When she stepped in I saw movement. I felt like there was hope again. She made contact with the U.S. consulate there. Thank you so much to the Congresswoman. Thank you to everyone who continued to pray for Tierra as well as myself. Thank you to all of the supporters. I’m happy and thank you to all of the officials in Dubai who cooperated and facilitated the whole process so she could return back," says Baxter who hasn’t slept all night and says she’s ready to have her daughter safe at home in Houston.

"Oh, I’m ready. I’m going to give her a big kiss, a big hug, and a kiss on the cheek like she’s a two-month-old baby," smiles Baxter.

Tierra has a layover in Florida and is expected to arrive in Houston later in the week.

As part of the release on her travel ban, she isn’t allowed back in Dubai and her mom says that won’t be a problem, at all.