Protesters shut down a speech by the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security at Georgetown University Monday morning during an event meant to address U.S. immigration policy.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan was set to be the keynote speaker for Georgetown's 16th annual Immigration, Law, and Policy Conference, but was quickly shouted off stage by protesters, as reported by National Review. The event was advertised as an "excellent opportunity to go beyond the headlines with thoughtful analysis from leading experts" organized by the Georgetown University Law Center, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the Migration Policy Institute.
McAleenan reportedly eventually left the stage after trying several times to begin to speak, only to be shouted down by protesters, some of whom can be seen on video, standing in front of the stage, facing the audience and shouting messages like "stand up fight back," while holding signs that read "STAND WITH IMMIGRANTS" and "Hate is not NORMAL."
McAleenan managed to get out a sentence in support of free speech before being cut off for the third time, according to the National Review, saying “as a career law enforcement professional, I’ve dedicated my career to protecting the right to free speech, and all the values we hold dear in America, from all threats."
"Lot to cover today," McAleenan said in another attempt to begin speaking, adding "there’s some very serious issues that we can talk about, in candor, in a real dialogue, or we can continue to shout," before being shouted down for the final time.
Migration Policy Institute President Andrew Selee, who had introduced the acting DHS secretary, expressed disappointment that "the audience lost the chance to engage" with McAleenan on policy.