Acting DHS Head Shouted Down By Protesters At Immigration Forum
Kevin McAleenan, currently the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, was shouted down by protesters at a forum on immigration, leaving the lectern as he was unable to give his prepared remarks to the audience in attendance.
McAleenan was slated to speak on Monday at the Migration Policy Institute’s annual immigration forum at Georgetown, ABC News reported. Though the group is typically understood to be a liberal think tank, McAleenan, as a member of the Trump administration, was there to deliver remarks from the White House’s point of view.
He wasn’t able to do so, however, as crowd members chanted and jeered at McAleenan.
Some of the comments were coordinated. In one example, some would yell out, “When our immigrants are under attack, what do we do?” while others would respond with, “Stand up, fight back!”
Various signs in the crowd also greeted McAleenan as he took the stage. Some read, “stand with immigrants,” while others aimed to remind the acting DHS secretary that “hate is not normal.”
At one point, MPI director Doris Meisner tried to calm the crowd so that McAleenan could speak. “This audience is here to engage in a dialogue and listen to the speaker,” she said into the microphone.
WATCH: Protesters disrupt Acting Homeland Security Sec. Kevin McAleenan remarks. Following multiple attempts to start, he thanks hosts and departs.
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 7, 2019
Her efforts were in vain. As McAleenan tried to speak again, audience members continued to interrupt him. One person called him a liar, while another shouted an expletive toward him.
Eventually, McAleenan left the stage.
McAleenan took on the position as acting head of Homeland Security in April, when President Donald Trump asked him to assume the role. Since that time, he has made several controversial statements, including in July of this year when he was responding to criticisms that conditions for immigrants entering the U.S. at the southern border were abominable, according to previous reporting from HillReporter.com.
“Inadequate food, inadequate water and uncleaned cells, none of those have been substantiated,” McAleenan said in an interview with ABC News at that time.