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Dad Wants ‘No-Fly List’ For Kids In Midst Of Custody Disputes

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Michael Sanchez and Emily Machado (Family Photo)

Michael Sanchez and Emily Machado (Family Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago area father is pushing for a no-fly list for kids, because he says it could help parents whose children have been kidnapped.

Michael Sanchez’s own daughter was taken away, all the way to Brazil, when she was kidnapped by her biological mother.

As CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports, Sanchez finally got to see his daughter again this week, after waiting for more than three years.

“It sucks that it took 3½ years. I mean those 3½ years, me and her will never get back,” Sanchez said.

They’re years Sanchez said he’s suffered as he was kept thousands of miles away from his daughter, Emily Machado.

She was just a toddler, 2½ years old, when her mother abducted her, police said.

“I would have given anything back for this not to happen,” Sanchez said.

It happened in Berwyn in March of 2008. Sanchez said that Emily’s biological mom left a note and vanished with her.

“The mom left a letter stating she was leaving. I didn’t know where,” Sanchez said.

Tracking the two to Brazil took two years, plus another year and a half of wading through international law to get one visit.

It happened just days ago.

Sanchez said he is upset with both Emily’s mom and with the system that made it so hard to see his daughter again, “but I don’t know who’s worse.”

Now Sanchez is pushing for a law that would stop some abductions at the airport. Under Emily’s Law, airport staff would search a computer database and red flag any child involved in a custody battle.

Legal experts said it’s a good idea.

“Where there’s a will there’s a way,” said attorney Randy Kessler. “I don’t see it happening yet unless there’s a real big public outcry and I hope there will be.”

Sanchez said his greatest challenge now is to build a bond with his daughter – long distance.

“She knows that I never did leave her,” he said.

Sanchez and his child’s mom have now met and agreed to allow Sanchez to visit his daughter in Brazil.

The mother apparently ran because she was not a legal citizen and she was afraid she’d get deported and lose her child.

Sanchez has started an online petition to get legislators to back his proposed law. You can find the petition by clicking here.

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