Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen received an earful from angry demonstrators as she dined Tuesday at a Mexican restaurant in D.C.
According to USA Today, members of the local Democratic Socialists of America chapter showed up to MXDC to confront her over the Trump administration’s schismatic “zero-tolerance” immigration policy.
The group shared a video of the interaction in a Facebook post.
“We’re in downtown DC disrupting DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s dinner at MXDC,” the group wrote. “The irony isn’t lost on us that this is a Mexican restaurant.”
The post claimed Nielsen “has led the program to tear apart (families)” and that Tuesday’s demonstration was “to tell her to put an end to separating families, to step down as head of the department, and that (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) must be abolished.”
Nielsen has faced mounting calls for her resignation in recent days as reports of families being separated by federal officials have outraged social, political and religious leaders across the ideological spectrum.
In what is believed to be the video of Tuesday’s confrontation, protesters can be heard taunting Nielsen and shouting questions in the direction of her table.
“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?” Jesse Rabinowitz asked. “We call on you to end family separation and abolish ICE.”
Should Secretary Nielsen resign over this issue?
The protester later told USA Today that Nielsen did not acknowledge the demonstration and everyone involved had already left the restaurant by the time law enforcement arrived. Another video appeared to show Secret Service officers questioning protesters in the area.
A subsequent statement from the group indicated police “attempted to detain several members of MDCDSA to no avail.”
Nielsen left MXDC a short time later, according to a Twitter video posted Tuesday evening.
DHS Secretary Nielsen just got driven out of a Mexican restaurant here on 14th Street by activists. DSA, I believe. pic.twitter.com/lTKutryXBO
— Osita Nwanevu (@OsitaNwanevu) June 20, 2018
The secretary’s spokesperson confirmed the disruption in a series of tweets the same night.
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.
— Tyler Q. Houlton (@SpoxDHS) June 20, 2018
“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,” Tyler Q. Houlton wrote.
A member of the left-wing political group said the protest was “nothing compared to the horrors” Nielsen has caused to families impacted by Trump administration policies enforced through the Department of Homeland Security.
“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 borders,” Margaret McLaughlin said.