WASHINGTON — “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace.”
That was the chant that Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, heard as she attempted to eat at a Mexican restaurant in Washington Tuesday night.
A group known as the Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America claimed responsibility for the protest inside the restaurant.
The group posted an 11-minute video of the protest to Facebook.
“Secretary Nielsen, how dare you spend your evening eating dinner here as you’re complicit in the separation and deportation of over 10,000 children separated from their parents,” one protester chanted.
Others chanted, “Abolish ICE” before the group began chanting “Shame!” over and over again.
The group also called out Nielsen for dining in a “Mexican restaurant of all places.”
During the video, Nielsen never engaged the group.
Nielsen is responsible for carrying out President Donald Trump’s efforts to reduce immigration.
A writer for Slate posted video on Twitter that showed Nielsen walking out of the restaurant and into a waiting SUV shortly after the protesters left.
A spokesman for the department of homeland security tweeted that Nielsen was having a “work dinner” when a “small group of protestors who share her concern with our current immigration laws that have created a crisis on our southern border.”
Tyler Houlton, DHS spokesperson, urged the protesters to reached out to Congress and “seek their support to close immigration loopholes that made our system a mess. He said Nielsen will continue to work with Congress for a solution.
Nielsen retweeted an earlier tweet from President Trump that congratulated her for a “fabulous job” at a White House press briefing focusing on border security.
Nielsen also tweeted that she will “work tirelessly until our broken immigration system is fixed, our borders are secure and families can stay together.”
In a statement posted on Facebook, the Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America posted the following statement:
“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,” said Margaret McLaughlin, a member of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America Steering Committee. “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. 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.”