- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2008

There is a growing sense of desperation at the Home Depot on Rhode Island Avenue Northeast, where the Third World denizens hanging out in the parking lot implore the home-improvement shoppers to hire them away for the day.

The Hispanic day laborers stand in front of slow-moving automobiles and motion their availability. Or they walk up to those either entering or leaving the store and make a plea in mostly Spanish. This has come to be the unpleasant shopping experience at the Home Depot in the city, which is enough to force one to drive to the Home Depot at the intersection of Connecticut and Georgia avenues in Montgomery County or to the Home Depot at Seven Corners in Falls Church.

It should come as no surprise the congregation on Rhode Island Avenue is growing in numbers, for lawmakers have made it clear that ours is a sanctuary city. No one is inclined to enforce our laws, only ignore them with the conviction this serves a nobler purpose.

I am inclined to ignore the unsatisfied-parking-ticket notice that came to the house the other day. It seems, unknowingly, I parked in one of those car-sharing spots on 18th Street Northwest in Adams Morgan, and one of the alert parking-enforcement officials caught this gross infraction that could have led to someone”s death.

By the way, writing parking tickets is the principal activity on the 18th Street commercial strip. People are under the misguided impression that Adams Morgan is a bustling neighborhood stuffed with pedestrians. Unfortunately for the small-business owners there, most of the pedestrians are employed by the D.C. government and are instructed to write as many tickets as possible, which means they do not have time to frequent the establishments there.

Many of these ticket-writing workaholics hide behind trash cans or pretend to be homeless before sprinting to an automobile to cite an infraction, often while the driver is walking the 50 feet to purchase a parking slip from a meter.

Our city is extremely serious about parking enforcement, and yet remains ever timid about the aggressive illegal aliens besieging the poor Home Depot on Rhode Island Avenue.

The illegal aliens have a reason to be desperate. The housing industry is undergoing a correction, contractors and builders are not as busy as they once were, and home prices are tumbling. Or so it is being reported by apocalyptic real-estate writers. Row houses in Georgetown that fetched as much as $1.5 million a year ago are now being offered at $299,000, with motivated sellers attempting to lure potential buyers with flat-screen televisions, a new automobile and a tuition credit.

The housing correction, of course, is trickling down to the illegal aliens. If the home you purchased at the height of the housing craze is now worth less than the BMW sitting in your driveway, you feel a lot less motivated to hire a crew of illegal aliens to paint and landscape the premises.

This undoubtedly is stoking the anxiety of the illegal aliens at the Home Depot. Or maybe the wild-eyed look on their faces is a sign they merely need to go to the nearby row houses to relieve their weak bladders, which is a recurring complaint of the residents there.

Apparently, there are no loitering laws on the books in the city that apply to illegal aliens, which is understandable. They do not have to play by our rules. I am thinking one of the illegal aliens should set up a hot dog stand at the entrance of the Home Depot. That at least would be convenient for the police officer who is parked at the Home Depot entrance for decorative purposes only.

Home Depot”s executives cannot be happy they took a chance on the city, and now the city”s lawmakers have allowed this store to become a de-facto refugee center that encourages shoppers to go elsewhere.

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