How A Half-Hour In A U.S. Embassy Changed A Life

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to an immigrant, Christopher Francis from Sri Lanka, who was looking for the man who gave him a visa to enter the U.S. 45 years ago.
Francis in front of the White House, shortly after immigrating to the U.S. in the 1970s. Source: Courtesy of Christopher Francis

Christopher Francis prayed in earnest before arriving at the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1973.

It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon and the course of his life depended on this moment. He needed to make a case to a man named David C. Harr about why he deserved a visa to the United States.

That's because Francis grew up Tamil, a persecuted ethnic minority in Sri Lanka. In the 1970s, tensions between Tamils and the majority Sinhalese

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