Friday, December 1, 2023

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Joe's Neighborhood

Dear Rep. Steve King


Sir, you do not know me, but I write to thank you for all you’ve done concerning drug dealing and illegal immigrants. As my representative from Iowa, I wanted to share with you how your observations were my salvation. And perhaps my story will be a cautionary tale to others who don’t appreciate your commitment to keeping our borders safe.

You probably recall your statement made in response to those who want to allow children of illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship:

“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

I was fascinated by your direct linkage between illegal immigrants’ kids and drug dealing. Little did I know when I read your remarks that I myself would soon be put to the test.

It all began because I am a stranger in a strange land. I am residing for a time in the Netherlands. And even in this land of the Red Light District, certain legal niceties are required for an extended visit. Yes, I needed some type of permit to legally stay with my working wife. Unfortunately, I ran into a few difficulties.

Rest assured that I attempted to comply with all the government regulations. I began with a visit to the immigration office. I took a number at their main office and waited in line. After a time, I was invited to give my request to a nice young woman. Notes were taken. She conferred with her supervisor. Unfortunately, the young woman eventually told me I was in the wrong place and needed to set up an appointment to register with the City.

I happily followed that directive and off to the City I went. When I talked to the representative from the City, that gentleman also took notes of our conversation. Many in-depth questions were asked. Discussions with fellow employees took place. But, sadly, he was forced to tell me I was again in the wrong place and needed to talk to an expat group with the Government.

I contacted them, of course. This young man also took notes. He also conferred with his supervisor. He also spent time carefully reviewing my case. Alas, I was advised that I needed to talk to someone in the immigration office, where, of course, I had earlier waited in line with a number.

Undaunted, I spoke to a gentleman back at immigration. He had me go through my story twice. Then, he sadly informed me I was in the wrong place and needed to register with the City.

Yes, a complete circle.

joes1As you can see, Rep. King, I did not rest on my laurels waiting for things to happen. I was proactive. But the clock was ticking. Soon, I would become an illegal immigrant in the Netherlands. And that’s where your words were nearly prophetic.

 It began innocently enough, as sin always does. I noticed, as my time to become an illegal immigrant drew near, I started walking past the coffeehouses. Rep.King, let me assure you these coffeehouses sell products you’ll never see at Starbucks. Yes, we’re talking marijuana with a capital “M.” I knew that to indulge in any such behavior was wrong and it went against all my years as a prosecutor. But the inexorable pull of becoming an illegal immigrant was compelling me to want to sell and use drugs — just as you predicted. Seventy-five pounds worth of drugs to be exact. It hadn’t happened yet; but, as is clear from your statement, I knew the moment my status changed from legal to illegal, I would find myself giving drugs to young Dutch children strapped to the backs of their mom’s bikes, and, even worse, smoking dope while wearing a Rastafarian stocking cap. Talk about trouble.joes2

I tried to stem the tide of this horrible transformation by overwhelming my senses with Dutch flowers.

Nothing. When that didn’t work, I tried Dutch chocolate.

To no avail. So, I pulled out my biggest gun — Dutch pastry.

Sadly, failure, failure, failure.

Rep. King, I am not ashamed to tell you, I became more and more distraught and frightened. And yesterday, the unmentionable started to happen — my calves, those very calves that had honestly and truly served me for 59 years, grew larger and fruit-like during the night. Deep despair hung like a cantaloupe around my neck.joes3

Ah, but of course I’m writing because there is a happy ending. Just as you would have predicted, all these illicit thoughts vanished today. Why? Well, immigration granted me a temporary permit. I AM LEGAL. My calves immediately shrunk. I no longer walk past the coffeehouses. And I don’t have to worry about my bad back and the need to carry around 75 pounds of marijuana. Lord, what a relief.

The only sour note — I was unable to cancel my eBay order of three Rastafarian stocking caps. Perhaps an early Christmas present?

Your fondest supporter in Holland,

– Joe CV

Joe Weeg spent 31 years bumping around this town as a prosecutor for the Polk County Attorney’s Office. Now retired, his wife is assisting in the prosecution of war criminals in the Netherlands for several months. He’s along for the ride and writes about being an Iowan in Europe on his blog at

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