The Cabinet secretary charged with protecting Americans’ safety was under attack again Friday as protesters marched outside her home to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The protest outside the Alexandria, Virginia, townhouse of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen began shortly before 8 a.m. Friday, Breitbart reported.
The protest lasted for about an hour, according to WTTG-TV in Washington. Secret Service officials were on hand during the protest. There were no reports of violence or arrests.
Nielsen apparently was home when the protest began but left while it was taking place, The Washington Post reported.
About two dozen marchers carried signs that read “Child snatcher” and “2,300 children ripped from their families, no plan to reunite them,” as they chanted, “No justice, no sleep!” and “Free the kids!” Newsweek reported.
— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@jewishaction) June 22, 2018
Protestors are outside of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s Alexandria townhouse, playing audio of the detained children. She appears to be still be home. pic.twitter.com/akIcxOcM3q
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 22, 2018
Nielsen has emerged as a major target for critics of the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the longstanding policy of family separation that Trump ended Wednesday with an executive order.
On Tuesday, Nielsen was besieged by Democratic Socialists of America while she was dining at a Mexican restaurant. Protesters crashed the restaurant with chants about immigration policy.
“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 group said in a post on its Facebook page.
Nielson was also attacked online by actor Peter Fonda, who tweeted that she “should be put in a cage and poked at by passersby.” Fonda also said Nielsen “should be pilloried in Lafayette Square naked and whipped by passersby while being filmed for posterity.”
Although protesters have grabbed the mainstream media’s attention, Nielsen offered a few facts Thursday when she spoke in defense of President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy at the 2018 Capitol Hill National Security Forum, ABC News reported.
Thank you @RepMcCaul and @HouseHomeland for allowing me to join you for today's Capitol Hill National Security Forum. @DHSgov has a broad and critical mission set, and it's always a pleasure to highlight the great work being done by DHS employees across the country. #NatSecForum pic.twitter.com/PSWjhI2cuS
— Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 21, 2018
“This is a national security issue,” Nielsen said. “Obviously we are all focused in recent weeks on unaccompanied children and others who migrate across but unfortunately our loopholes encourage that behavior.”
“I want to be very clear here: of the 12,000 UACs that are currently housed within HHS facilities, 10,000 are unaccompanied, which means 10,000 of those kids were sent here, without a parent, without a legal guardian in the hands of smugglers, in the hands of traffickers,” she said.
“These children, some of them were raped, they’re abused,” the secretary said. “Many of them come, they’re already recruited into a gang because that was the only way they could survive the travel. This is not only a humanitarian issue.”
Nielsen said Congress needs to act to overhaul immigration laws.
“We have done everything that we can do within the executive branch to both secure our borders, uphold our ideals and protects our communities but we need Congress to act,” she said, later adding, “I want to be very clear on this: Congress has the authority and responsibility to make the law of the land and to fix the immigration system.”
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