Marie Mark and Michael Velarde of the Immigrant Defense Project talk Trump’s immigration policies

Midnight immigration raids, travel bans and rumors of fake ICE agents harassing subway riders – all are happening now in New York City, but these enforcement actions were also a part of the immigration system long before President Donald Trump took office, and advocates say Democrats share some of the blame. Two guests from the Immigrant Defense Project, Supervising Attorney Marie Mark and Director of Development and Communications Michael Velarde, joined the Slant Podcast on Tuesday to discuss Trump’s recent immigration orders. Velarde pointed out how Trump took the reins from Obama on an immigration policy that was already facing condemnation from the immigrant community.

“Obama had ‘felons, not families.’ And that’s more polished, maybe, than ‘bad hombres,’ but the narrative changes in form, but not in function … in some ways there’s not much change,” Velarde said. “There’s a crudeness of it, there’s a widening of the conversation, but it follows a logic. We have to be able to question the very premise of these operations.”

Velarde and Mark also gave some insight on the consequences of Trump’s immigration policies – both personal and economic – and what New York’s elected officials could be doing in response.

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