“The Ministry of Magic is undertaking a survey of
so-called “Muggle-borns,” the better to understand
how they came to possess magical secrets. …
The Ministry is determined to root out such usurpers
of magical power…”
The rhetoric in the anti-immigration debate reminds me of the campaign by “Pure-blood” wizards to criminalize and vilify “Muggle-born” wizards--also called the derogatory term “Mudbloods”-- in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
It begins as an ugly undercurrent of suspicion and prejudice against wizards whose parents were Muggles (or non-magical folk), and gradually gains mainstream acceptance, becoming official governmental policy. Studies are issued that assert that magic can only be passed on when wizards reproduce and conclude that Muggle-borns can only acquire magical skills by theft. Muggle-born wizards are forced to present themselves for questioning before a commission whose purpose is to interrogate, terrorize and imprison “these thieves of knowledge and magic.” Muggle-born wizards who are not in prison are forced into hiding or falsifying papers to prove “blood status.” Bounties are paid to “snatchers” who turn them in to the government. They are denied an education and the right to work. Those who support Muggle-born rights are called “blood traitors” and considered “as bad as the Mudbloods.”
This parallels the attitude of intolerance and prejudice voiced by many in the immigration debate. People who come to the
Politicians and commentators make claims about the criminal activities of aliens that are not supported by the facts, calling them “drug mules," extortionists, and terrorists, or burglars and “thieves of our jobs.”
Letters to the Editor in the Waco Tribune Herald in response to an article about Grecia Cantu, compared this Valedictorian of University High School in Waco, Texas, to a drunk driver who kills someone or a car thief. One writer said that Grecia should “return her valedictorian honor to her school and let it go to the person most deserving of this: the student who has achieved the grades and whose parents are
Calls for changes to the 14th Amendment that would strip children born in the U.S. of their citizenship if their parents are not U.S. citizens is further evidence of the ugly and offensive undercurrents to the debate that is ongoing. Proponents of the change advocate amending the Constitution of the
The Obama Administration has increased deportations and removals of aliens. Although the administration says that it is targeting aliens with serious criminal convictions, 79 percent of the people deported due to the Secure Communities program are non-criminals or were picked up for lower level offenses, such as traffic offenses or petty juvenile mischief, and 28 percent of the people transferred to ICE custody have been non-criminals.
All but three states have stopped issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. This forces the undocumented to drive without a license and often without auto liability insurance. .Arrests for driving without a license have increased, and combined with the Secure Communities program of I.C.E. has increased the number of removals of noncriminal aliens.
States and municipalities have enacted anti-immigrant laws—Farmer’s Branch, Texas, has spent millions of dollars defending its ordinance that bans renting to the undocumented, Arizona (with many states planning to follow) has enacted a law that criminalizes undocumented immigrants and requires law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of any person they suspect of being "illegal."
Hate crimes against Hispanics have increased. “Once limited to hard-core white supremacists and a handful of border-state extremists, vicious public denunciations of undocumented brown-skinned immigrants are increasingly common among supposedly mainstream anti-immigration activists, radio hosts and politicians. While their dehumanizing rhetoric typically stops short of openly sanctioning bloodshed, much of it implicitly encourages or even endorses violence by characterizing immigrants from
The Harry Potter series ends in the defeat of those who have discriminated against and oppressed Muggle-born wizards. The cost is great.
We must examine the immigration crisis without vilifying those who come to the
"Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open." Albus Dumbledore