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Synopsis: Four children are left motherless in the USA after their mother went to El Salvador to care for her mother; the mother suffered a heart attack. The mother had lived in the USA under Temporary Protective Status for 17 years. Even though she was allowed to travel and her TPS status was still good, an error made by a new employee at airport check-in voided her TPS status upon departure.
The mother was not permitted to return home from El Salvador. This left her four children, ages 16, 11, 9, and 6, to fend for themselves. After 6 months of waiting, the four children found a non-attorney immigration activist who took on extreme family separation matters. All work by him and his staff is without charge. The activist, tagline El Gringo Schindler, took the matter on. He also started to care for the children from that day forward. He told the children he would get their mother home in 2-3 months.
The activist worked with everybody from Dallas, TX, to the hallways in DC. After two months, no one was willing to bring the mother home. The activist started to plan a rescue trip. The plan was for him to fly to El Salvador two days before New Year’s Day and somehow return with the mother on either New Year’s Eve or Day. The activist planned to use the holidays to his advantage. He had a hunch that the decision-makers that had refused to help would be on holiday break. If the activist could stir up enough pressure with those left in power, perhaps he could slip the mother out of El Salvador and into the United States. For two days, the activist would show up at the airport and create a disturbance at the check-in counter. He would take breaks to call dozens of DHS duty officers. The activist rightfully predicted that the airline staff and DHS staff would want this matter resolved when their superiors returned from the holiday. The activist got a call that approved the mother to fly on one specific flight on New Years Day. Amazingly, the airline agreed to transport the mother, and DHS agreed that she would be admitted upon arrival.
All was set until a lowly immigration official in El Salvador refused to permit the mother to board. The activist acted daringly. He yelled for the para-military police at the airport to help him. Using only sign language, he pled with the police to let the mother fly out. One of the officers had quietly been observing the activist over the past few days. He decided to board the mother and stayed at the jetway until the flight left.
The flight home to DFW was full of excitement. The mother was processed into the USA in less than two minutes! Outside international arrivals were her four children, media, staff of the activist, and other families that wanted to experience the homecoming. No words properly describe the reunion. The film ends with a video and a network news report. The mother had come home to her children against all odds. The activist had no time to rest. The next matter awaited
Santos Escobar (Mother (herself))
The Four Children (Julissa, Karina, Germayoni, Ruben) Escobar (Motherless Children (themselves))
Joe Del La Fuente (Airport Manager (Simon))
There is right. There is wrong. Then there is the right thing to do. An activist must know the most about the technical aspects of an issue. The activist uses his knowledge to magnify the emotions of others. He gives everyone an out. Most important; in the words of Churchill “Never, Never Give-up”.
The director is a real estate developer turned immigration activist. The activist lied about his age to get a job as a busboy at age thirteen. He skipped college to work his way up in hotel management. After 15 years, he switched to property management. The opportunity presented itself and the activist started a successful real estate development company. Work was never all that mattered to the activist. He loved to travel the world and had a special appreciation for the arts. This combined with the knowledge that his parents had fled Nazi Germany made the activist always protect those less fortunate than him. A personal experience with immigration exposed the activist to the wrongs of extreme family separation. Over the years the activist has saved several thousand individuals from the horrors of extreme family separation. His work is without monetary reward.