José Orduña’s Letter from Homeland Security

José Orduña had a hot date for Valentine’s Day last year; specifically, with Homeland Security. He reads the letter they sent him summoning him to the Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Des Moines in 2011.

José grew up with a loving Mexican family in Chicago, but his mom always warned him that if he got into too much trouble, he could disappear, like many of their immigrant friends did, picked up by Immigration for anything at all. Chicago police officers told José to sit on the curb and take off his shoes more than once. The security guards in the CIS office in Des Moines freaked out a little about his schoolbag, which freaked him out a little. The irony is that José knows way more about American civics and history than his America-born friends do. Now he’s a bona fide US citizen, much to the relief of his hardworking parents. But though his sense of fear is lessened, it hasn’t quite left him yet, as you can hear in this episode. (Right-click the small “Click here to start download from sendspace” in the small blue box, not the fake-out ads. Soon, a podcast will exist . . . some day.)

José is an essayist who’s just as dry and smart as he sounds on the radio.



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