Cross-country ride for immigration reform to stop in Carson City

Two hundred and thirty years ago, Paul Revere rode through the countryside warning the American militias of the impending invasion by the British army.

Now, a group of concerned citizens is using that famous ride as the basis for their own drive to warn the public about the need to close America's borders.

The 21st Century Paul Revere Ride of 2006, a cross-country motorcycle ride, kicked off in Denver on May 29 and is set to end with a rally in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 12. The riders are stopping at 48 state capitols to "inform the public on the severity of the immigration crisis and urge elected officials to close the borders."

"In the age of 9/11 it is simply irresponsible to let people into the country without being checked," said Howard Wooldridge, ride organizer. "Good fences make good neighbors."

The riders will be holding a rally at the Capitol from 9-10 a.m. today. The group was in Sacramento on Monday and is planning to return to California for a large rally at City Hall in Los Angeles on Saturday.

"We've had thousands of people honking horns and giving thumbs-up signs. White, black, brown, yellow - all kinds of people are showing their support," Wooldridge said.

Wooldridge said the purpose of the ride is less about telling people of the problems, but seeking to inform the public about what needs to be done.

"We need to control the borders and by that I mean seal them. Then we can have a rational discussion about immigration. You can't have that with open borders," Wooldridge said.

The ride is being conducted in conjunction with Numbers USA, a national nonprofit immigration-reduction organization, according to the group's Web site.

Wooldridge said that the short-term measures taken by President Bush, including sending national guard troops to border states, are not the solution to a much larger problem.

"The borders should have been sealed on 9/12, and he allowed them to remain open for another five and one-half years," Wooldridge said. "Adding 6,000 National Guard troops will only have a minimal effect. It will only reduce the amount of illegal immigrants coming in from 2 million to 1.9 million."

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.

If you go

What: 21st Century Paul Revere Ride

When: 9 a.m. today

Where: Capitol, Carson and Musser streets

On the Net

Also ...

If you go

What: march to the state Capitol

When: 9 a.m. today

Where: March forms at Mills Park


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