We’ve now biked 328 miles on our 2020 Ride. But for COVID-19, we’d have reached Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in the 40th of the Lower 48 states.
Instead, our most exotic June travel so far was around the block outside Jeffrey’s native village.
We didn’t encounter humans, but we weren’t alone.
Meanwhile, back among the humans: our employees in government, using our soldiers and police, continued in our names to hurt and kill people—black people, and people of all sorts demonstrating their support for the victims—whom our government was created to protect.
And while we are focused on violence against our neighbors across our country, today our president’s officials proposed rules that would bar asylum for almost all victims of persecution who reach the United States.
The new rules, explained in “Trump is quietly gutting the asylum system amid the pandemic” on Vox.com, would deny refuge to people who en route to the U.S. changed planes or spent more than 14 days in another country without applying for asylum there. To people who have been in the U.S., or worked in the U.S., without federal permission. To victims of persecution on account of gender. To people forced to hide their political beliefs. To almost anyone who doesn’t meet narrow criteria that violate the Refugee Act of 1980 and international laws that the United States has adopted as our own.
Jeffrey and I ourselves don’t have the resources to challenge these proposals that will hurt those whom the Refugee Act was intended to protect. Click here to unite behind Human Rights First so it has the resources to do what is humanly and legally possible to stop these evils and keep America, America.
What do real Americans think about this?
Here are a few of the First Nations people—the real Americans, the ones whose cultures and languages and ancestors were here first—whom we’ve met on our 10,992 miles (and counting!) of biking for human rights. The photos, arranged at random, were taken in (alphabetically listed) Arizona, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Oregon. If you’ve followed our travels, you’ve met these people too.
First Nations are not paradise.
Yet the First Nations people we’ve met are not restrictionist like many of the latter-day usurpers and their descendants who call ourselves American.
Except for the person who told Jeffrey, “My father didn’t like white people. He didn’t understand their ways,” every adult you see here told Jeffrey that refugees are welcome.
Our First Nations friends know the importance of respecting human rights.
Most shared that their church or another local group gives material assistance to migrants without regard to color, language, or religion. One said that land is like air, it must be shared. One met Jeffrey, later tracked us down on the highway to introduce his spouse, and gave us a donation for Human Rights First.
One told us, “Everyone with a good heart is welcome in the Ozarks!”
For the moment—it’s hanging by a thread—American law provides that every refugee with a good heart, who can prove that she has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is welcome here.
Gutting asylum will cut the heart out of America.
Let’s make sure that welcoming refugees, as our laws command, stays part of the American ethos.
Support human rights first . . . and support Human Rights First.