Mary is nineteen and living alone in Albuquerque. Adrift in the wake of her mother's death, she longs for something meaningful to take her over. Then José Luis enters her life. A refugee from El Salvador and its bloody civil war, José has been smuggled to the United States as part of the sanctuary movement. Mary cannot help but fall in love with the movement and the man. And little by little, she begins to reveal to José Luis the part of herself she has never known.