Idealistic school teacher Ellen is bowled over by news that many of the survivors of the shipwrecked Golden Venture, run aground off the coast of New York in 1993, will be detained in her local York County Prison in York, PA.
Upon attending vigils on behalf of these INS detainees now seeking political asylum, she becomes enthralled with the group of humanitarians she meets as well as with the cause of justice and freedom for the world's oppressed and downtrodden.
On the other hand, her husband Dan is not the least enthralled with her involvement in this cause of "cutting illegals a break." Major problems develop on the home front, all the more so as their daughter Christi becomes drawn into the cause.
Little does Ellen or the INS realize until the very end, but the detainee to whom Ellen has been assigned as his "Guardian Angel" is none other than the 20th century's most famous freedom icon: Tankman, the man who stood up to the tanks at Tiananmen Square.
Tankman in America encapsulates the tragedies, both personal and national, that have been and are the result of America's often misguided treatment of people seeking asylum from this world's many oppressive regimes.
Tankman in America is a story of great heroism, nobility, anguish, tragedy and joy. It is a thought-provoking, heart-breaking, inspiring and powerful story about the course of freedom in America.