I just spent 7 weeks bicycling 2000 miles with my friend, Alana, who is crossing the country doing interviews with refugees about their experience in living in America. Time and time again when we asked them about what they love about the US, they told us “the freedom.” It almost sounded like a political soundbite, but the heart-breaking details they gave made it incredibly real.
This is why I felt sick when i read the times headline this am: White House Weighs Another Reduction in Refugees Admitted to U.S. It was precisely the reason that Alana felt compelled to bike all those miles, to bring attention to this issue – one that has traditionally held bipartisan support – and is being deliberately cut away.
These are people who truly love the US – probably more than most natural born citizens – because they have lived without its freedoms, and so can actually know what it means to live with them.
As a side note, Republicans would love refugees if they would just sit down and talk to them for few minutes – they believe so much in things like traditional family values, hard-work, socially conservative even, and so many are living out the American myth of pulling yourself up by your boot straps – buying homes, paying taxes. They want to support and thank the country that took them in in their time of need. Their gratitude was humbling.
listen to the interviews at www.beautifulcrossing.com