Iowa Governor Signs Bill Allowing Arrest of Illegal Immigrants Previously Removed From, Denied Admission to US

Iowa’s law enforcement authorities will soon have the power to arrest and deport illegal immigrants previously denied admission to or removed from the United States.

Signed into law by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) on April 10, the bill, SF 2340, is expected to take effect from July 1.

Under the new legislation, it will now be a state crime for someone to be in Iowa if they have outstanding deportation orders, were previously removed from the United States, or were previously denied admission to Iowa.

In a media statement released with the bill, Ms. Reynolds said Iowa’s new law is a direct result of the Biden administration’s failure to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Under normal circumstances, the federal government is responsible for enforcing such laws.

“The Biden Administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk,” she said.

“Those who come into our country illegally have broken the law, yet Biden refuses to deport them.”

According to Ms. Reynolds, the new law will give “Iowa law enforcement the power to do what he is unwilling to do: enforce immigration laws already on the books.”

Once a suspect is in custody, the legislation says they can agree to a judge’s order to leave the country or face further charges. However, the order must include information on the method of transportation the suspect can use to leave the country, and which law enforcement officer or agency is responsible for ensuring they comply with the order.

Activist and Advocacy Groups Criticize Bill

Iowa’s bill has been vocally criticized by activists and immigrants, who are vowing to try to prevent it from becoming law.

Advocacy group Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice said in an April 10 statement on its Facebook page that the law is a political stunt that will negatively impact all Iowans.

“Iowa politicians moved this ridiculous stunt forward in an election year in order to perpetuate partisan campaign rhetoric, drive fear in immigrant communities, and mobilize voters using fear and anti-immigrant sentiment,” the statement said.

“Immigrants’ rights organizations are ready to fight back and work to block this unconstitutional law from going into effect.”

At the same time, Mark Stringer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, called the bill “discriminatory” and “unconstitutional.” He thinks it will “wreak havoc in Iowa families and communities and threaten Iowans.”

In a media statement last month, he said SF 2340 “encourages and facilitates racial profiling and stereotyping.”

“The Iowa law enforcement and state judges tasked with authority to carry out this outrageous legislation are not trained in immigration law and have no proper authority to enforce it,” he said.

“It undermines, not promotes, public safety and the rule of law. It will consume already strapped state court and law enforcement resources,” Mr. Stringer added.

Other States Pushing for Similar Laws

Border Patrol has encountered more than 7.6 million illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers trying to cross the border since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

As a result, some states have begun to enforce immigration laws against those who have no legitimate claim to asylum themselves, and legislatures have proposed various state-level strategies. Texas, in particular, has been taking steps to curb the flow of people illegally crossing the Southern border.

The legislature in the Lone Star State has already passed a similar law to the one in Iowa. However, it has since stalled in court after a challenge from the U.S. Department of Justice, which says it conflicts with the federal government’s immigration authority.

The Louisiana Senate has signed off on a bill that would allow state police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants within the state as well. It passed on April 8, and is now headed to the state House.

From The Epoch Times

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