U.S. Homeland Secretary was in for a nightmare when she decided to dine in an upscale Mexican restaurant near the White House on Tuesday night.
Waiting for her were a number of citizens enraged by the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance policy” at the southern border, which has seen more than 2,300 children being separated from their undocumented parents. Despite international pressure developing on the current administration to deal with immigration in a more humane way, Trump has insisted that “you have to take the children away,” as reported by the BBC.
A half-dozen or so members of a political action group, the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, booed Nielsen as she sat to have her dinner served. Nielsen had on Monday attempted to defend Trump’s hardline policy by claiming that even those immigrants seeking legal asylum in the United States were subject to their families being separated, according to NBC News.
“We call on you to end family separations,” one protestor shouted as the Homeland Secretary’s security detail ensured that the demonstrators did not get too close to her. “Shame on you,” shouted another protestor, questioning her “gall” to dine at a Mexican restaurant when her administration was forcing even toddlers to be separated and sent away to “tender age” shelters.
“If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace.”
“Do you hear the babies crying?”
“Aren’t you a mother, too?”
homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen DID NOT enjoy her dinner tonight. pic.twitter.com/387KweXmNd
— Rob Bennett (@rob_bennett) June 20, 2018
Donald Trump had earlier applauded Nielsen for her tough handling of the questions during Monday’s press conference. When asked about an audio clip where children can be heard weeping and an immigration officer seemingly making fun of the children’s “orchestra,” Nielsen insisted that the care received by the migrant children maintained the standards that the United States has set for itself. Nielsen suggested that she had visited many detention centers, calling on Congress to fix the “immigration problem.”
Nielsen doesn't have much to say about the audio recording of children wailing at a detention center, moves on quickly pic.twitter.com/CKLn8GHM9x
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 18, 2018
Protests against the separation policy have spread across the nation, with New York City witnessing a peaceful march from Union Square Park to the ICE offices in Lower Manhattan. In San Francisco, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s headquarters, chanting “Stop taking the children!” and shutting the street for more than an hour.
It seems unlikely, however, that the booing Nielsen faced at the Mexican restaurant, or indeed the several protests sweeping the nation, would be enough for Donald Trump’s administration to reconsider their border policy.