A Measure That Permits the Arrest of Some Migrants Has Been Signed Into Law by the Governor of Iowa!

A measure that was signed into law by Governor Kim Reynolds on Wednesday makes it a state crime for someone who has been previously denied entry into the country or expelled from it to be in Iowa.

According to Senate File 2340, the measure targets “certain aliens” and goes into effect on July 1. It has increased fear among immigrant communities in Iowa and raised concerns about how law enforcement and legal professionals would implement it. Part of a Texas statute that is presently being challenged by a judge is mirrored in it.

Republican leaders have accused President Biden of failing to enforce federal immigration law in Iowa and around the nation. As a result, Republican governors have sent military personnel to Texas and state legislators have proposed a range of state-level initiatives.

Following the bill’s signature, Reynolds released a statement saying, “The Biden Administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk.” “This bill gives Iowa law enforcement the power to do what he is unwilling to do: enforce immigration laws already on the books.”

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert informed The Associated Press via email in March that the department’s efforts to maintain community safety are independent of an individual’s legal status, after the Legislature’s passage of the law. According to him, the force is “not equipped, funded, or staffed” to handle duties that belong to the federal government.

“Simply stated, not only do we not have the resources to assume this additional task, we don’t even have the ability to perform this function,” said Wingert.

In a March email, Linn County deputy sheriff and Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association president Shawn Ireland stated that law enforcement personnel would need to confer with county attorneys regarding implementation and enforcement.

Similar to the Texas bill, the Iowa proposal may result in criminal charges for those who have deportation orders pending or who have been previously removed from the country or refused entry. Once in detention, migrants faced the possibility of facing charges or consenting to a judge’s order to leave the country.

The judge’s order must specify the mode of departure from the United States as well as the law enforcement official or Iowa agency responsible for tracking the migrants’ whereabouts. Rearrest on harsher charges may be imposed upon those who refuse to depart.

The U.S. Department of Justice challenged the Texas law, arguing that it interferes with the federal government’s immigration power, which has caused it to become stuck in court.

According to Texas A&M School of Law immigration law expert Huyen Pham, deportation is a “complicated, expensive, and often dangerous” federal procedure; therefore, the implementation and enforcement of the Iowa measure will be similar to those of the Texas legislation.

To try to address people’s inquiries, Iowa’s immigrant community organizations are planning educational events and providing resources in the interim. In addition, they are requesting in-person meetings and public declarations from the county and municipal police enforcement departments.

Eighty individuals attended a community meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, and posed questions in Spanish, one of which was “Should I leave Iowa?”

“Is it safe to call the police?” inquired several others. “Can Iowa police ask me about my immigration status?” And lastly: “What happens if I’m racially profiled?”

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