When President Trump was candidate Trump, he directed harsh words at a lot of people, but no group was targeted as much as undocumented immigrants, whom he accused en masse of crimes, blamed for U.S. economic stagnation, and promised to deport by the millions and repel with a wall. Trump was hardly the first national politician to concern the many New York residents who lack papers—Barack Obama removed 2 million people via immigration enforcement—but his rhetoric and that of some of his supporters was especially alarming to undocumented immigrants and their families.
On Wednesday, the president matched his words with action through two executive orders. One ordered a crackdown on sanctuary cities like New York. “Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States. These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic,” the order read. The other order called for the creation of a larger wall at the Mexican border.
What are New Yorkers—in particular, New York’s immigrants—prepared to do to resist these steps and others? Abraham Paulos, executive director of Families for Freedom; Thanu Yakupitiyage, senior communications manager at the New York Immigration Coalition, and Yaritza Mendez, outreach coordinator for Make the Road New York joined me on BkLive on Tuesday to discuss their approaches.