Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan left an immigration policy conference Monday without speaking after protesters shouted him down.
McAleenan was scheduled as the keynote speaker at Georgetown University Law Center during an annual immigration law and policy conference held by the nonprofit immigration think tank Migration Policy Institute. He was expected to take questions from the audience, made up mostly of immigration policy experts, lawyers and advocates.
Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan reacts while protesters interrupt his remarks at the Migration Policy Institute annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference in Washington, Oct. 7, 2019.
Homeland Security is the department that manages immigration enforcement and is largely responsible for meting out many of the massive changes pushed by the Trump administration that has restricting asylum, forced more than 50,000 migrants to wait in Mexico and added hurdles for those seeking green cards. Since December, at least seven children have died after they were taken into immigration custody, and officials have been grappling with a massive influx of migrants that vastly strained the system.
McAleenan, a longtime civil servant who was the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection before he was tapped to lead DHS, started off saying that he was a longtime law enforcement officer and believed in free speech, but said that public engagement was important.
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