Controversy Erupts as GOP Governor Signs Bill Allowing Local Authorities to Arrest Migrants, ‘Enforce Immigration Laws’


Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law into effect Wednesday evening that permits local police in Hawkeye State to arrest illegal immigrants who were previously deported or refused admission.

Senate File 2340 makes it illegal for an illegal immigrant who has been previously deported or refused admission to the United States to enter or return to the state. This is similar to Texas law, which has been the subject of a high-profile legal challenge by the Biden Administration.

Reynolds stated in a press release announcing the signing of the bill that “the Biden Administration failed to enforce the immigration laws of our nation, putting Iowans’ safety and protection at risk.”

She added, “Those who enter our country illegally are breaking the law, and yet Biden refuses deportation.” “This bill allows Iowa law enforcement to enforce the immigration laws that are already in place, something Biden is unwilling to do.”

The new law that passed both chambers of the state legislature last week is set to take effect on July 1st.

It is a misdemeanor that can be punished by two years of imprisonment for migrants who are in the state and have unfulfilled deportation orders or who were deported previously.

According to the new law, the crime becomes a felony if an immigrant was removed for misdemeanor convictions of drug-related crimes or crimes against people.

However, the law prohibits police from stopping migrants who are suspected of breaking the law in places of worship, schools, or medical facilities.

According to the text of the law, a judge may allow illegal immigrants arrested to leave the country and avoid facing charges.

In recent weeks, Louisiana, New Hampshire Tennessee, and Oklahoma have all made similar proposals to crack down on illegal immigration.

Texas is the state where Governor Greg Abbott signed S.B. in December. The Texas law was part of Abbott’s Operation Lone Star.

The Biden administration filed a lawsuit in January, claiming that the law invades federal territory. It cited a 2012 Supreme Court decision that struck down portions of an Arizona law that sought to empower local and state officials.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals had blocked the law’s implementation, but the Supreme Court allowed it to briefly go into effect before sending it back to the appeals courts without ruling on its merits. Since then, the 5th Circuit has blocked it once more. The two sides also presented oral arguments in late November.

Last month, the Louisiana Senate introduced a similar measure that makes it illegal for an immigrant who has been deported to enter the state or return after being removed.

Valarie Hodges, a Republican state senator, introduced Senate Bill 388. If the bill passes and is signed into law, violators will be punished by up to one year of imprisonment and up to $4,000 in fines.

Louisiana’s Governor would be authorized, as part of this bill, to create an interstate agreement with Texas to control “the influx of illegal immigration which threatens the safety of Louisiana citizens.”

SB 388, which was approved last month by a Senate Committee, was presented to the House of Representatives this week. It is expected to receive approval from the Republican-controlled legislature and Republican Gov. Jeff Landry.

Hodges, who is a Republican and a member of the House of Representatives, stated that the move was necessary because the federal government had failed to act on the “open borders” or take any other action.