Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled by Democratic Socialists while dining at a Mexican restaurant in Washington D.C. Tuesday evening. The mob ultimately forced the Homeland Security secretary and her guest to vacate the restaurant.
“Sec. Nielsen, how dare you spend your evening here eating dinner as you’re complicit in the separation and deportation of over 10,000 children separated from their parents,” a man yells. “How can you enjoy a Mexican dinner as you’re deporting and imprisoning tens of thousands of people who come here seeking asylum in the United States.”
“Fascist pigs!” another woman screamed.
As Nielsen sat in increasingly awkward silence, activists clapped their disapproval, repeatedly shouting “shame.”
“No human being is illegal, no child is illegal” the cries continued. “Abolish ICE. No borders, no walls, sanctuary for all.”
“We’re in downtown DC disrupting DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s dinner at MXDC,” Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America said in a Facebook blurb accompanying their video.
“The irony isn’t lost on us that this is a Mexican restaurant. Nielsen has led the program to tear apart familes (sic). We are here to tell her to put an end to separating families, to step down as head of the department, and that ICE and CBP must be abolished.”
Nielsen eventually left the restaurant, with her security team following closely.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Homeland Security spokesperson Tyler Q. Houlton attempted to discredit the protesters.
“While having a work dinner tonight, the Secretary and her staff heard from a small group of protestors who share her concern with our current immigration laws that have created a crisis on our southern border,” he said.
While having a work dinner tonight, the Secretary and her staff heard from a small group of protestors who share her concern with our current immigration laws that have created a crisis on our southern border.
— DHS Spokesperson (@SpoxDHS) June 20, 2018
On Monday, Nielsen was flown into D.C. from New Orleans to oversee a highly contentious press briefing where she vigorously defended the administration’s policy of family separation. The president was a fan of the briefing tweeting his support moments after Nielsen concluded that she had done a “fabulous job.”
Stories of broken families and children being kept in cages have sparked broad and bipartisan outrage in recent days, though President Trump is said to be distrustful of much of the coverage. In remarks to a small business conference Tuesday, the president doubled-down on the zero tolerance measures.
“I don’t want children taken away from parents,” said Trump, who again said the policy was out of his hands. “When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away.”