- Protesters shouted at Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of US Homeland Security, at a Mexican restaurant.
- Nielsen’s agency in charge of enforcing policy to separate parents and children at the US border.
- Protesters appeared near Nielsen’s table and began shouting slogans including “Shame, shame.”
Protesters heckled Kirstjen Nielsen, the US Homeland Security secretary, on Tuesday as she sat at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, DC.
Nielsen’s agency has overseen the controversial enforcement of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy towards illegal arrivals in the US, which has seen parents treated as potential criminals and losing custody of their children.
Nielsen was apparently dining at Washington DC’s MXDC Cocina Mexicana when a group of protesters organised by Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America entered the restaurant and walked up to Nielsen’s table. One protester asked “How can you be enjoying a Mexican dinner?” before the group began shouting “Shame, shame” and “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace.”
The group posted the following video on Facebook:
In the video, two security guards appear to create a barrier between the protesters and Nielsen, who, from a distance, appears unfazed by the ten-minute protest. She continues her dinner.
“We will not stand by and let Secretary Nielsen dine in peace, while she is directing her employees to tear little girls away from their mothers and crying boys away from their fathers at our border,” Margaret McLaughlin, a member of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee, said in a statment.
“These barbarous acts must end and those at the helm must be held accountable. While Secretary Nielsen’s dinner may have been ruined, it is nothing compared to the horrors she has inflicted on innocent families,” she said.
Metro DC Democratic Socialists did not respond to questions about the number of protestors or claims that police spoke in Spanish to members of the group when asked about the protest by Business Insider.
Another video appears to show a restaurant patron also joining in with the elements of the protest.
— Brett "Unions 2021" Banditelli (@banditelli) June 20, 2018
The restaurant was not the only site of protest Tuesday evening.
The Democratic super PAC American Bridge set up speakers outside Washington’s Trump International Hotel to play audio of 10 Central American children crying in a detention facility after being separated from their parents.
President Donald Trump was scheduled to speak the hotel Tuesday night as part of the first fundraiser being held by his biggest super PAC, America First Action. According to The New York Times, attendees will have paid $US100,000 for general admission and $US250,000 for VIP tickets, with attendees including Donald Trump Jr., House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Trump on Tuesday night tweeted praise for Nielsen’s work. The Homeland Security secretary was criticised for a number of controversial statements on Monday as several lawmakers called for her resignation.
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