Anti-administration activists screamed “shame” and “abolish ICE” at Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on June 19 while the Trump official overseeing the divisive “zero tolerance” immigration policy dined at upscale Mexican restaurant MXDC.
Nielsen, who has become the public face and chief defender of an enforcement effort that allows for criminal prosecution of any adult entering the country illegally and places any children accompanying them in federal custody, was confronted by members of the Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) during her meal.
“How can you enjoy a Mexican dinner as you are deporting and imprisoning tens of thousands of people who come here seeking asylum in the United States?” a DSA member yelled as he walked up to Nielsen’s table at the back of chef Todd English’s D.C. restaurant. What looks like two members of Nielsen’s security detail blocked the protesters from getting right in her face, but the group spent about 10 minutes criticizing the Trump administration.
Diner Brent Epperson told the Washington Post that some of the surrounding patrons “were very happy to see her shamed.” A DHS spokesperson issued a statement urging anyone who has a problem with the crisis on the southern border to contact Congress — part of Trump’s campaign to pin this problem on Democrats.
Homeland Security @SecNielsen did a fabulous job yesterday at the press conference explaining security at the border and for our country, while at the same time recommending changes to obsolete & nasty laws, which force family separation. We want “heart” and security in America!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2018
DSA steering committee member Margaret McLaughlin says the group will seek out any opportunity to challenge administration officials who dare step outside the White House.
“Secretary 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,” she wrote on social media. “While Secretary Nielsen’s dinner may have been ruined, it is nothing compared to the horrors she has inflicted on innocent families.”