Film tells story of LI doctor who came to US as unaccompanied minor

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HUNTINGTON -

A new documentary tells the story of a Long Island doctor who came to the United States as an unaccompanied minor.

The film, titled "Undocumented," shares the journey of Dr. Harold Fernandez, a cardiothorasic surgeon who lives in Huntington and who came to the U.S. from Columbia.

"I had always that dream of being able to help people through medicine,"  Fernandez says.

He arrived in the country illegally at the age of 13 by traveling with strangers on a small boat. The plan was to join his parents, who had come to the United States years before. Fernandez likens their years of separation to the current family separations at the southern border.

The film follows his ascent to an Ivy League education -- Dr. Fernandez graduated from Princeton and Harvard Medical School.

Filmmaker Patricia Shih based the film on Dr. Fernandez's memoir of the same name. Shih descends from Chinese immigrants and wanted to put a spotlight on why immigrants seek out the American dream.

"I hope that they learn that immigrants are just like us. They want what's best for their families. They are looking for a better life and we should welcome them. That's what the Statue of Liberty is all about," says Shih.

Fernandez agrees.

"This is a story that reminds all of us that America is still a compassionate country, this is a country that really wants to do the best for everyone," he says.

Shih says she is working on scheduling more screenings for the film and also trying to get the film on streaming services like Netflix.

MORE INFORMATION: Documentary website

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