Ambassador for Human Rights First Launches 1300 Mile Journey
Albuquerque, New Mexico—Human Right First today celebrated the launch of the seventh annual Ride for Human Rights—a bicycle fundraising event undertaken by volunteer attorney Jeffrey Heller in support of the organization’s work providing pro bono legal representation to refugees seeking asylum. The annual ride began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and will finish three weeks and 1,300 miles later in San Jose, California.
“Legal representation for refugees changes lives. A refugee with a lawyer is three times more likely to win asylum than one without a lawyer,” said Heller, a longtime partner of Human Rights First’s. “Our network of pro bono attorneys provides legal help, for free—and we win 90 percent of our cases.”
“For many refugees, having a lawyer can be the difference between life and death. We are thankful for Jeffrey’s support and enthusiastic willingness to tell people around the country about the work we are doing and raise much-needed funds so that we can continue to provide legal services to clients seeking refuge in the United States,” said Human Rights First’s Hardy Vieux.
Supporters are invited to partner with him on his journey by making a donation today to help victims of persecution and violence find safety in the United States.
With over 60 million people displaced worldwide, refugees need our help now more than ever. Human Rights First’s refugee representation team, which recruits and trains pro bono lawyers to represent refugees, is one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind in the country. Its impact could hardly be more profound: liberty, instead of oppression; and sometimes life, instead of death, for thousands of people.
“On this journey, I’ll talk to school kids, retirees, bikers, farmers—everyone I meet. I ask them to think about our legal and moral duty to refugees and about the benefits immigrants bring to the American heartland,” added Heller. “For me, this isn’t just about getting to travel this country, It’s about making sure that people who flee violence and persecution get to present their case to make America their home.”