Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security secretary who has become a flashpoint in the family separations at the border, was driven out of a Mexican restaurant by protesters who disrupted her dinner.
You can watch the video, which was taken on June 19, 2018, here:
“Secretary Nielsen, how dare you spend your evening here eating dinner,” the protester shouts, accusing Nielsen in being “complicit” in the separation and deportation of children. Nielsen kept her head down for most of the video and did not interact with the protesters. “Shame! Shame! Shame!” the protesters chanted. They held a sign that said, “no human is illegal.” Men in suits stood between the protesters and the secretary. “End family separation,” the protesters shouted. “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace.” They shouted, “Not in D.C. Not in the U.S.” and “In a Mexican restaurant of all places….The F*cking gall. Shame on you….fascist pig.” They also shouted, “Abolish ICE” and “No borders, no wall, sanctuaries for all.”
Here’s the response from the secretary’s office:
“Do you hear the babies crying?” protesters asked. “How do you sleep at night?” The protesters also shouted such things as “End Texas concentration camps,” “These kids will never be reunited with their parents,” “What’s your salary Kirstjen, how much do you make locking up children?” and “Kirstjen Nielsen, you’re a villain, locking up immigrant children.” They repeatedly used the number 10,000 for children separated from their parents. (President Trump had tweeted the day before, “We must always arrest people coming into our Country illegally. Of the 12,000 children, 10,000 are being sent by their parents on a very dangerous trip, and only 2000 are with their parents, many of whom have tried to enter our Country illegally on numerous occasions.” The Associated Press reported on June 19, 2018 that over 2,300 children have been separated from their parents since May, some sent to “tender age” shelters.)
Margaret McLaughlin of Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, which organized the protest, told a reporter for the Huffington Post, “Sec. Nielsen and everyone else who has carried out these brutal and cold-blooded orders to rip apart families should never be allowed to eat and drink in public again. While Secretary Nielsen’s dinner may have been ruined, it is nothing compared to the horrors she has inflicted on innocent families.”
Here’s video of the secretary leaving the restaurant:
The Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America posted a more than 10-minute long Facebook Live video of the confrontation, writing, “We’re in downtown DC disrupting DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s dinner at MXDC. The irony isn’t lost on us that this is a Mexican restaurant. Nielsen has led the program 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 #abolishICE #abolishCBP.”
This is apparently how the group knew Nielsen was at the restaurant, which is called MXDC:
The group then posted another video a short time later that said “cops came.”
Protesters expressed pride in themselves on social media.
The secretary has been increasingly in the middle of the firestorm over the family separations.
Nielsen, Who Was a Controversial Figure in the White House, Made Controversial Remarks on the Family Separation Debate
Kirstjen Nielsen has made a series of comments that have made her a controversial figure in the family separation debate. The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy at the border has led to children being separated from their parents as their parents are prosecuted for unlawfully entering the country.
Here are some of Nielsen’s comments on Twitter:
In the White House, Nielsen was a controversial figure even before she was appointed Homeland Security Secretary. She previously worked in the administration of President George W. Bush “as special assistant to the president and as senior director for prevention, preparedness and response at the White House Homeland Security Council” as well as running the “Transportation Security Administration’s offices of legislative policy and government affairs,” Newsweek reports.
She rankled some with what was perceived as a “rigid style” when she followed John Kelly to the White House as his deputy chief of staff, Politico reported. Her demeanor led some Trump loyalists to call her Nurse Ratched, the nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, according to Politico.
A government report lists Nielsen’s previous positions, stocks, and salary. She listed the following positions outside government for 2016 and 2017:
Sunesis Consulting, LLC Alexandria,Virginia LLC President 4/2012 1/2017
Res/CON, Greater New Orleans Inc. New Orleans, Louisiana Non-profit Advisory Board Member for Global Resiliance Summit 4/2016 1/2017
Trump for America, Inc. Colonia, New Jersey Non-Profit Volunteer 11/2016 1/2017
World Economic Forum Geneva, Switzerland, Outside U.S. Non-Profit Global Risks Report Advisory Board Member 9/2016 1/2017
Cyber Institute, National Cybersecurity Center Colorado Springs, Colorado Non-Profit Advisory Board Member 6/2016 1/2017
Center for Naval Analyses Safety and Security Advisory Board Arlington, Virginia Non-Profit Advisory Board Member 4/2014 1/2016
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Brussels, Outside U.S. Intergovernmen tal alliance Civil Expert 5/2015 1/2017
World Economic Forum Geneva, Switzerland, Outside U.S. Non-Profit Chair, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Risks and
Resilience 6/2014 10/2016
George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia University/College Senior Fellow, Center for Cyber and Homeland Security 4/2014 1/2017