TWELVE HUNDRED MILES TO THE MOUNTAINS FROM THE SEA
Joey here. Kangaroo Court Puppet. Conceived in Australia, born in Korea, an American since 1991. My 1 pound (1/2 kilo) corpus is spineless and brainless.
But I’m not heartless.
I love kids. And people who once were kids.
These kids are wonderful too. And in danger.
There is evil in the world. Children—and people who, like you and me, used to be children—are being persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, social group membership, and political opinion. Over 70 million innocent human beings are refugees. It’s heartbreaking.
Countries with fine people, poor economies and brutal regimes accept millions of refugees. The top three are Turkey, Pakistan, and Uganda. See https://247wallst.com/special-report/2019/12/03/countries-taking-in-the-most-refugees-and-where-they-come-from/
Yet our big rich country, the United States of America, whose people are wonderfully generous, now turns away almost all refugees, even the most deserving and desperate, in violation of our own laws.
We Americans want to do the right thing for refugees—and for ourselves. What is right, depends on the facts. Actual facts. Not the so-called “alternative” kind.
It doesn’t help that the ignorant, the ill-informed, and the cynical, mislead us about immigration, refugees, asylum, and human rights.
Fact: immigrants of every description, authorized and unauthorized, have lower crime and disease rates, higher labor force participation rates, and are less likely to be terrorists, than native-born American citizens. See, e.g., https://www.cato.org/blog/illegal-immigrants-crime-assessing-evidence .
Fact: It is legal to ask for asylum at, or within, the U.S. border, no matter how one arrives here. 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(1). It is the legal duty of the U.S. government to promptly and fairly hear and decide the applicant’s claim.
Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed.
Imaginary fears have led us to deny refugees the protections guaranteed by our federal laws and our Scriptures.
For the tenth year in a row, Jeffrey—lawyer, registered professional nurse, and my chauffeur— . . .
. . . will pedal us into the American heartland to greet our neighbors and talk about children of all ages who are suffering and afraid and desperate for refuge.
Since April 2011, in over 6 months and almost 11,000 miles on the road, Jeffrey and I have met thousands of Americans in 39 states.
We see our country low and slow, sharing the truth about immigration in America. Not “our” truth. The truth. We listen. We learn. We make new friends.
Our travels have convinced us that when Americans know the truth, they will do the right thing.
On this Ride, we’ll pedal 1200 miles along the red line, through the Cascades and the Rockies, to Provo, Utah.
We’ll roll east from Seattle around April 16.
This Ride is extra-special. Our friends at Human Rights First are providing a fun way to taste the joys of the road yourself, while helping protect immigrants, refugees, and American values.
On Sunday, May 3, 2020, at 7:30 AM, 32,000 cyclists of all skill levels will come from around the world to roll through every borough of New York City on streets totally free of cars. For one day, the roads are yours, the bridges are yours, the City is yours—there’s no better way to experience the Big Apple.
Produced in conjunction with the City of New York, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour is the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S. Click here to join the Ride for Human Rights Cycling Team! Your participation allows Human Rights First to continue advocating for the rights of refugees, combating antisemitism and extremism, holding human rights abusers accountable, and providing legal support for asylum seekers.
There is a $1,000 fundraising minimum to participate on the Ride for Human Rights Team. This will include:
- Guaranteed entry in Wave 1 of the 2020 TD Five Boro Bike Tour
- Breakfast and lunch for the day of the tour
- Professional fundraising support as well as free online tools to support with achieving your fundraising goals
- Opportunity to donate in a loved one’s honor or memory
- Human Rights First swag
Jeffrey’s and my past Rides have raised over $300,000 for Human Rights First. On the occasion of this, our Tenth Annual Ride, Human Rights First will leverage our efforts by adding to our total the funds raised by fellow cyclists on the TD Five Boro Bike Tour.
On May 3, Jeffrey and I will start biking in the western mountains at the same hour you begin—0730 in NYC, 0530 Mountain Daylight Time—so you and we will be biking together, supporting one another, as we join to support human rights.
Even if you’re not a cyclist, you can take part. Please click here, or on my Kangaroo Court Puppet image on this page, and support what the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ) called “a premier institution devoted to the noblest of all causes”—Human Rights First!
As in every year past, donors in any amount will receive a souvenir postcard, signed by Joey and Jeffrey. We’ll continue to send vintage Beatles postcards from the Joel F. Glazier Memorial Collection until they’re gone.
Please subscribe for daily updates, or look for us on FaceBook. We’ll post here occasionally between now and April 16. We post an illustrated essay every night we’re on the road.
Please tell your family and friends.
See you on the road!