Friends, we’re back!
I’m the Kangaroo Court Puppet.
I was conceived in Australia, born in South Korea, and immigrated to the USA. I know the U.S. immigration system. ‘Nuff said.
I can hear it now, from the “I’ve got mine, who cares about you” crowd: the mocking taunt, “Life’s not faaaair!”
Life isn’t fair. But it ought to be.
United States laws are meant to make life fairer. More just. The Good Book says justice requires equal treatment for the citizen and for the newcomer, whom you must love as you love yourself.
Because many U.S. politicians publicly reject these ideas, I worry that our country with its creaky Constitution is becoming a dinosaur.
So far as I know, dinosaurs had no laws, save those of the swamp, the savannah, the jungle. Dinosaurs—and lawless treatment of immigrants and refugees—give me the willies.
Human Rights First is the antidote to lawlessness.
Founded in 1978 as the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights, HRF fights systemic injustice, authoritarianism, extremism, and abuse of technology.
HRF recruits and trains pro bono (free) lawyers for thousands of people who have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, social group membership, or political opinion. Those lawyers help ensure that people win asylum when they qualify for refuge under our country’s complex laws. HRF also works to end conditions that force such people to flee their homes.
In 1991, in HRF’s first puppet-human collaboration, Jeffrey Heller and I made training videos for Human Rights First’s volunteer lawyers.
Then, for more than a quarter of a century, Jeffrey and I taught the nuts and bolts of asylum law to hundreds of lawyers and law students in New York and New Jersey.
And since 2011, to benefit Human Rights First, with the loving support of his extraordinary spouse Nancy, Jeffrey has pedaled me . . .
. . . nearly 14,000 miles (22,000 km) from New York City to 43 of the Lower 48 states.
We’ve learned a lot from the thousands with whom we’ve spoken along the way. And we’ve taught our new friends and neighbors the truth about immigration, asylum, and HRF.
Through our Rides, generous people have handed us cash on the road and visited HRF online, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Human Rights First.
Jeffrey has planned this year’s route from Utah to the last five of the Lower 48 States.
To apply exposure therapy to my dinosaur phobia, Jeffrey will take us to Dinosaur, Colorado. Another Colorado highlight: Cameron Pass, 10,276 feet (3,132 meters) above sea level.
Then we’ll descend the Rockies between the Medicine Bow Mountains and the Never Summer Mountains, and traverse the Great Plains through Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota, to Minnesota.
Please join us on our journey.
From the road, we post every night on our blog. The reward for our work is when you share the adventure through our illustrated essays.
Go to RideForHumanRights.org, enter your email address, and click the “Sign me up!” button. You’ll get an email every time we post. It’s free!
And please donate to Human Rights First. Jeffrey and Nancy pay all Ride expenses; 100% of your donation goes to HRF. Every donor will receive a souvenir Beatles postcard from the late Joel Glazier’s collection, autographed by Jeffrey and me.
You’ll hear more from us before we depart on April 10.