Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan was forced off stage by shouting open borders protesters after attempting to speak at a conference organized by migration groups.
McAleenan had been scheduled to deliver remarks at a conference organized by Georgetown University Law Center, the left-of-center group Migration Policy Institute, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, an organization dedicated to lobbying for more immigration to the U.S.
For example, the groups who organized the conference featured a sign of a migrant child behind McAleenan with the words “Together we welcome the stranger, promote dignity, and protect immigrant rights.”
While McAleenan attempted to speak, open borders protesters with Sanctuary DC, Maryland, Virginia (DMV), CREDO Mobile, La ColectiVA, and Justice for Muslim Collectives stormed to the front of the stage, shouting “When immigrants are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!” and carrying a sign reading, “Hate is not normal.”
Sanctuary DMV activists claimed responsibility for the disruption, writing online, “we denied DHS Acting Secretary McAleenan the opportunity to justify the unjustifiable to an audience of DC immigration wonks & lawyers” and demanding the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency be abolished.
In response to the protest, McAleenan said:
The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to free speech and assembly. Unfortunately that right was robbed from many who were scheduled to speak and attend today’s event at Georgetown. Unfortunately the Acting Secretary and the audience did not get the opportunity to engage in a robust dialogue this morning due to the disruptions of a few activists. [Emphasis added]
As Breitbart News reported, McAleenan recently aired a number of grievances that he had with President Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” policy at the southern border, fellow Trump officials, and terms like “illegal alien,” which he said he refuses to use because it carries “racial overtones.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.