Protesters heckle Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at Mexican restaurant, forcing her to flee

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen did not get to enjoy her Mexican dinner out
(Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

In retrospect, maybe Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen should have picked another type of restaurant while America is in an uproar about her department separating mostly Latino migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border. But Nielsen chose the D.C. Mexican restaurant MXDC Cocina Mexicana — a fact the protesters from the Democratic Socialists of America noted when they descended on her table, yelling "shame." "The irony isn't lost on us that this is a Mexican restaurant," the group said on Facebook.

Nielsen and a companion had been dining at the restaurant for about an hour before a dozen or so protesters walked in, restaurant general manager Thomas Genovese told The Washington Post. The Democratic Socialists of America say a diner tipped them off. She sat at the table, protesters yelling, for 10 to 15 minutes, paid her check, and left the restaurant escorted by Secret Service agents, Genovese said. Homeland Security Department spokesman Tyler Houston put a friendly gloss on the protest:

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"A lot of people were very happy to see her shamed," fellow diner Brent Epperson, visiting from Canada, told the Post. Nielsen and her dinner companion "tried to pretend like nothing was happening, but it lasted long enough that they couldn't," he added. "They were just sitting there like statues, waiting for the protest to end." You can see a sample of the protest in the Good Morning America roundup of the increasingly tense national standoff over the family-separation policy, or watch the entire video at Facebook. Peter Weber

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