I do have a big problem with deporting people who commit crimes. That's just passing the buck to somebody else. It seems fairer and more appropriate to me that actual criminals should be penalized in the jurisdictions where they commit their crimes. Furthermore, jail sentences and other penalties for most crimes are already too stiff in the U.S., as witness this country's shockingly high incarceration rate compared with others. Justice is not served by adding an additional penalty of deportation after someone has already been amply punished for wrongdoing. Last but not least, such a policy amounts to treating immigrants more harshly than others guilty of similar offenses on the basis of nationalist discrimination.
I'm not sure anyone at the protest was aware the Palantir contract was awarded in 2014. Perhaps you should have come to the protest and made that fact known to help ensure that the Obama administration gets its share of the blame. There was a brief open mic opportunity at the end.
Nevertheless, we can't rightly conclude from the two statements you quote that Obama was as bad on immigrant rights as Trump is. You have to look at everything Trump has been saying and doing – his executive order affecting migrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, his advocacy of a border wall, his derogatory comment about Mexican immigrants being criminals and rapists, his attack on the integrity of a judge who happened to be of Mexican ancestry, etc. Although the left obviously should have spoken out more against Obama's bad policies, I don't think they are wrong to speak out now. Protest organizers Sonja Trauss and Laura Clark aren't exactly leftists anyway. I think they're both registered Democrats, but their main issue is overcoming government/NIMBY obstacles to building more homes and alleviating the housing shortage, and Sonja in particular has some definite libertarian leanings in other areas as well.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))