Recently when my book club met to discuss Elena Ferrante's novel My Brilliant Friend, the talk somehow turned to the plight of an illegal immigrant girl (from somewhere in Central America, I think) that one of the members knew. This girl had lived in California for years with her mother, also an illegal—no father in the picture evidently.
Now she was ready to apply to college, but because of her status was not eligible for a full scholarship to pay all her expenses. The other women in the group eagerly suggested this or that program or stratagem to fund the girl's higher education here.
No one questioned her right to be here in the first place, let alone her right to public monies for tuition at a public university. Nor was her father's responsibility mentioned.
It seemed pointless for me to raise any objection to all this. These were intelligent professional women of good will—and yet among them I felt a bit like the Mia Farrow character in Rosemary's Baby when she discovers that the kind, helpful friends surrounding her were in fact a coven of devil worshippers. I also wonder how many minutes it would take for a car with a "Trump for President" bumper sticker in this town to get vandalized.