It’s a dark day in Washington, DC, when the Trump administration is stopped short of speaking more lies.
Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan’s keynote at a think tank meeting was cut short Monday after a group of immigration advocates interrupted him each time he tried to speak.
At the conference, held at Georgetown University Law Center, at least three groups of people throughout the auditorium stood up at the beginning of McAleenan’s speech and unfurled black banners that read, “stand with immigrants” and “hate is not normal.”
Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a policy analyst at the immigration nonprofit American Immigration Council, tweeted that one of the protesters read out of the names of children who have died while in immigration custody, including while under McAleenan’s watch as DHS secretary, a role he assumed in April.
Video of the protests show people associated with the conference trying to silence the protesters, asking for attendees to sit down and save their comments for the Q&A portion of McAleenan’s speech, or take the protest outside.
“We hear you, we hear you,” Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, who was also the commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the agency that preceded Customs and Border Protection), tried to break in.
“This audience is here to in engage in a dialogue and listen to the speaker, please, it’s fine to finish this. You’re robbing the rest of this audience for an opportunity to engage in a dialogue that is important to have on a university campus,” Meissner continued.
Protesters continued to chant as McAleenan began his speech.
“You may stay standing, but please stop shouting,” Meissner later conceded.
But it was no use. Protesters unrelentingly chanted over the secretary, leading to more scolding from Meissner and others. On his final attempt to speak, McAleenan, being drowned out by the protesters once again, threw up his hands, thanked the organizers, and left.
McAleenan gets his ass handed to himself, once again.