Protesters go into Rep. Blum's office
UPDATE: Police didn't arrest anyone on Friday, June 22 after a sit-in at Representative Rod Blum's office in Dubuque.
Three women and one man left the office at 5 pm when it closed, and one woman named Hannah Grove was escorted by police out of the back door.
This all happened after a rally which was held in Washington Park at noon. It was hosted by Indivisible Dubuque, Americans for Democratic Action and Nextgen Iowa. More than 100 people attended and gave speeches, played music or listened in solidarity.
Speaker Sergio Perez said, "we have a crisis on our border states that needs our attention."
Perez spoke to the crowd about how his parents came to the US in the 80s in search of a better life. "Frankly it's their stories that compels me to speak up and say something for the parents that are at the border right now trying to do the same for their kids," he said.
It's that parental instinct that drew Hannah Grove to the rally. "When our children cry over little things you know it pulls at our heart. But to hear children crying for their parents, is just it's heartbreaking," she said.
Grove was one of many who marched from the park to Blum's office around 1 pm. She and five other women were able to get inside of the office before staff locked the doors.
"Your representative just locked his doors," someone yelled to the crowd outside, to which people responded with boos.
District Director Jack Mescher said he locked the doors to protect his staff. He also called the police as a precautionary measure. Mescher added that many politicians' offices around the country have locked doors.
Eventually Mescher opened the door and told the crowd he would let people in one at a time and meet with each for up to five minutes. He said he would meet with people through normal office hours, which was until 5 pm.
The group of six women who initially got inside of Blum's office said they would not leave until their demands were met. On a piece of paper they wrote, "we demand a statement from Rep. Rod Blum stating that he supports legislation that reunites children with parents ASAP, and that does NOT incarcerate/detain them. AND the bill next week should NOT be linked with legislation on the wall or DACA."
Four people left peacefully at 5:00, and Grove was escorted out the back by officers.
She said, "I really just wanted a statement from Representative Blum that at least he heard us and there are people who are concerned and it's just average people like me."
Blum did not have a statement in regards to the incident. However, earlier in the week he issued a statement that read, "I never want to see children taken from their parents because their parents broke our laws. Illegal aliens are gaming our system - both parents and their children should be denied entry at our border if doing so illegally. I hope that our Democrat colleagues will work with us to fix these laws dating back 20 years.”
After The Families Belong Together Rally in Washington Park, people marched to Representative Rob Blum's office.
Some protesters went inside the office and were chanting, "Don't arrest the nuns!"
We are not sure at this time how many protesters got into the office.
Our reporter on scene says the people at Blum's office locked the doors.
Authorities are at the scene.