The 45th president of the United States recently created a new homeland security department called VOICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office). VOICE launched a hotline last week specifically for Americans to report crimes “committed by criminal aliens”. On learning that many concerned citizens have been calling the VOICE hotline to report aliens of the flying saucer variety, I also called the hotline this morning to report a potential alien invasion. It took three calls and a surprisingly long hold time for me to get through and then the operator rudely hung up on me in the midst of my story of our cat chasing a tiny alien around the apartment.
Oh well. Having been frustrated in my attempt to report an alien attack I realized that—hey!—I live in a neighborhood full of immigrants and refugees, perhaps I should make my own field report of immigration crime. I think people should understand just what we are dealing with here up in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago (where I’ve lived for 16 years). I spent a long, terrifying morning documenting these crimes, but there’s nothing I won’t risk when the safely of my country is at stake.
- As several immigrants live in my actual apartment building, I don’t even have to leave home without experiencing criminal acts perpetrated by aliens. For example, an Italian-American woman named Stefania lives in the garden unit of my building and often orders pizza from a cheap pizza chain. Granted, this is not a crime specifically aimed at me, but I feel offended on the behalf of Stefania’s home country: she has resorted to eating godawful pizza when she comes from the best pizza making culture in the world. Also, I used to have a Nigerian American neighbor named Nathan whose booming voice would keep me awake at night. (Seriously, is there a school where Nigerians learn to make their voices so resonant?)
- And speaking of Nigerian Americans, HOB and I once attended a party at this Nigerian restaurant two blocks from our place. The people at the party were perfectly friendly but the restaurant had a landscape painting that was conspicuously hung upside down. Why????? No doubt for a nefarious reason we couldn’t understand.
- Next door to the Nigerian Restaurant is another dubious establishment, the Romanian Kosher Deli. Years ago I purchased hummus from the store only to realize to my horror that the hummus was made with mayonnaise. Blech! The Department of Homeland Security should start a division just for the crime of mixing mayo with hummus.
- One time I was caught in a dangerous hail storm. I was looking for shelter when an elderly Korean American neighbor pulled me next to her on a bus bench. She put one arm around me while, with the other arm, she firmly held a umbrella over our heads until the hail subsided. Sure, it seemed like she was a good Samaritan but in reality she was probably attempting to pick my pocket.
- Many of my neighbors are Mexican American, so naturally we have a piñata store. Surely it must be a crime to put perfectly good candy inside such a repulsive container. And what’s with the swastika belt buckle? I mean it’s not like the guy has done anything Nazi like, such as scapegoating and demonizing a specific group of people through creating a racist hotline or anything.
- Rohingya refugees from Burma are all over my neighborhood and I once witnessed newly-arrived tween girls wander into random neighbors’ yards to pose for pictures next to flowering trees and fancy cars. Outrageous!—who takes selfies on private property?
- The ajika (red hot sauce) sold at this Georgian bakery is so addicting that HOB and I had to fly all the way over to the Republic of Georgia to eat it in situ. I blame the treacherously good food of Georgian Americans for making me spend all my savings on travel.
- There used to be a hair salon nearby owned by Iraqi Americans nearby called Fadil Sassoon, though when I walked over to take a picture of it the sign had been removed. The salon owners are probably in a ICE detention center on charges of copyright infringement.
- HOB and I ate a picnic on a bench in front of this sari shop and the Indian American proprietor came out and practically assaulted us, urging us to buy bangles.
- And here’s the most devastating crime in all of Rogers Park: the cuteness of the children. Everywhere we go, cute kids of all nationalities are demanding our attention and playing peek-a-boo. Just think about all the time we’ve wasted, admiring these sketchy, chubby-faced attention grabbers. The next place I live will be full of unattractive, mono-lingual children: I’ll be so much more efficient.
Fellow citizens, if you too suffer by proximity to dangerous aliens, consider volunteering for a local immigrant and refugee rights organization, and making a donation to the ACLU or the Southern Poverty Law Center. And don’t forget to call in your extraterrestrial alien sightings to the VOICE hotline: 1-855-48-VOICE.