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The Internet Rejoices After Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Is Heckled Out of a Mexican Restaurant After Lying About Separating Kids at the Border

Bridget Read
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled out of a Mexican restaurant after defending the Trump administration’s border policies.

Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security secretary who recently said that the Trump administration policy of separating migrant families at the border that definitely exists does not exist, tried to cap off her Tuesday with a dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C.—until protesters shamed her into leaving. “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace,” members of the Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America chanted, heckling Nielsen, who eventually decided to forgo her meal. A department spokesman said that Nielsen was “having a work dinner”; why she chose a Mexican restaurant, when she had spent the previous few days alternately defending and denying a policy that has separated more than 2,300 migrant children from their parents at the U.S.–Mexican border, baffled the Internet, which was quick to commend protestors for calling out the deplorable “zero tolerance” crackdown and her complicity in enacting it.

Nielsen’s casual dining was especially galling the day after ProPublica released disturbing audio recorded inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility, in which 10 Central American children are heard screaming and sobbing for their parents. Nielsen’s public reactions, aside from statements made by her spokesperson, include a tweet that she would “work tirelessly until our broken immigration system is fixed, our borders are secure and families can stay together” and a retweet of praise from Donald Trump. At a press conference on Monday, Nielsen claimed she hadn’t heard the audio recording.

The Associated Press is now reporting that the Homeland Security secretary is “drafting [an] order to end family separation at border,” which is curious if, as Nielsen and others in the Trump camp have claimed numerous times, it is not a policy of the administration but rather Congress’s responsibility, and thus could not be ended by executive action. If Trump does indeed sign an order today, it will be the result of huge public outrage and political pressure—not because he, or Nielsen, care about migrants’ welfare.

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