I used to teach an older Italian student. As he grew older, he became ever less diplomatic. Eventually, he would embarrass fellow students during group conversation lessons by airing his not-so-savoury views on foreigners. When I challenged him on one occasion, he was completely taken aback. ‘I don’t mean people like you, of course. I mean the extracommunitari.’ Hm. There was no arguing with him though, no real understanding of what hardships might drive people to risk their (own and their children’s) lives to get here.
I was reminded of him by this story in National Geographic (it’s from before Christmas).