WASHINGTON, July 20 — President Donald Trump yesterday came face to face with furious Democratic lawmakers who launched a loud and very rare US Capitol protest of the American leader over his controversial immigration policies.
After huddling for 45 minutes with fellow Republicans to discuss immigration, Trump exited a meeting room only to be shouted at by a handful of House Democrats angry over the thousands of children who have been separated from their parents as they cross into the country.
“Quit separating the kids, they’re separating the children!” congressman Juan Vargas, a Democrat from southern California, yelled to Trump, as he help up a sign that read “Families belong together.”
“Mr. President, don’t you have kids? Don’t you have kids Mr. President?” Vargas continued, as Trump waved and made his exit along with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
“How would you like it if they separated your kids?”
Another lawmaker shouted: “We won’t go away!”
US lawmakers are known to occasionally express disapproval or frustration to a commander in chief — especially behind closed doors — when he comes to Capitol Hill.
But it is highly unusual that opposition lawmakers will stage such a dramatic, loud and public protest just feet from the president in the halls of the historic US Capitol.
Passions have been running high in recent days, with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, faith leaders, former first ladies and others up in arms over the family separations at the US-Mexico border.
The Trump administration has defended the policy of mandatory arrests of all people crossing the border illegally, which prompts separation of children from their parents as their case awaits adjudication.
Even with fellow Republicans demanding the separations be stopped, Trump doubled down on the policy early yesterday, saying: “When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away.”