The debate over immigration is heating up in the United States, but few people know about an extraordinary chapter in American history that sheds new light on the controversy.
It was a time when this country readily opened its doors to children to spare them from communism.
Many of them have had extremely successful lives in this country, fulfilling the hopes of their parents who sent them across the sea to escape from Fidel Castro's Cuba.
More than 14,000 children were secretly flown to the United States between 1960 and 1962 in an airlift known as Operation Pedro Pan -- a Spanish version of the name Peter Pan.
Thursday on CNBC at 9 p.m. the documentary "Escape from Havana" will tell the stories of six of the Pedro Pans.
One of the stories is that of Candi Sosa, a singer who lives in Manhattan Beach and performs the music of Cuba on Saturday nights at a local restaurant.
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Sosa grew up among the sugar fields and green plains of central Cuba, and began singing Cuban folk songs at the age of 6.
When she was 10, she and her brother and sister left Cuba in a Pedro Pan airlift and she did not see her parents again for three years.
In between, she was in a refugee camp and then settled with her siblings in Long Beach, where she further developed her musical talents.
In the documentary, Sosa shares what it was like to suddenly be uprooted from her family and home to travel to a country where she couldn't even speak the language.
She even endeavored to catch the measles at the refugee camp because her younger brother was in the infirmary and she did not want to be separated from him.
These days she told the filmmakers that music is her solace, an outlet of joy and a way to channel the pain of her childhood.
You can learn more about Candi Sosa and hear her music at www.candisosa.com.