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Kirstjen Nielsen, Homeland Security Secretary, Heckled at Mexican Restaurant

Kirstjen Nielsen

Getty ImagesThe Washington Post

When you spend your day job defending separating children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, perhaps you shouldn’t decide to take some colleagues to a Mexican restaurant after work. But that’s what Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen did on Tuesday night and—go figure—it didn’t go well.

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The Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America, which posted a video of the encounter, wrote on Facebook they decided to “disrupt” her dinner at MXDC Cocina Mexicana, an upscale Mexican restaurant from chef Todd English. A diner reportedly tipped them off to Nielsen’s presence.

Protesters booed at her, yelling “shame,” and said, “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace,” according to the New York Times. Nielsen did not appear to respond to the hecklers, and left the restaurant shortly after the demonstrators were kicked out of the restaurant, NBC News adds. She was later seen walking out of the restaurant into a waiting SUV.

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Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Tyler Q. Houlton issued a statement about the encounter. Houlton argued that Congress, not Nielsen, should be the target of activists’ outrage, even though Nielsen is the one choosing how to enforce the laws she apparently doesn’t agree with.

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The Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America released its own statement from Margaret McLaughlin, a member of its steering committee. “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,” the statement read.

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