Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday that he’s “not surprised” he was shouted down by protesters during his speech at Georgetown University this week.
Speaking to “Fox & Friends,” Mr. McAleenan said he was disappointed he never got the chance to promote the Trump administration’s agenda during Georgetown Law Center’s annual immigration conference on Monday.
“Not surprised, but it’s actually disappointing,” he said. “Because part of the irony here is that this was supposed to be a group of immigration law experts who wanted to hear the facts of what’s happening on the border, the facts of what’s broken about our immigration system.”
Activists held signs and repeatedly shouted during Mr. McAleenan’s speech at the event sponsored by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. Organizers eventually asked the protesters to let Mr. McAleenan speak, but chants erupted again and Mr. McAleenan thanked the crowd and left.
“I gave them eight minutes and when it was clear the Georgetown Law Center was not going to change the direction of that dialogue, then it was time to go,” he told Fox.
“I was going to challenge them on how we could talk and start a dialogue about how to fix it,” he said. “But apparently I didn’t get that opportunity.”
The Law Center has since responded to the incident with a statement, saying, “Georgetown is deeply committed to freedom of speech and expression,” Fox News reported.
The DHS released also a statement saying the activists “robbed” others of the opportunity to “engage in a robust dialogue” about immigration.
Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, said he was “deeply saddened” that Mr. McAleenan didn’t get to deliver his remarks.
“We need to hear from diverse perspectives in a democratic society, and the audience lost the chance to engage w/him on policy,” he wrote on Twitter.
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