Iowa Governor Signs Bill Allowing For Arrest, Deportation Of Some Immigrants

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds speaks during an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board Meeting in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 26, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

It will be a state crime for a person to be in Iowa if previously denied admission to or removed from the United States under a bill signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds on Wednesday.

The law, which takes effect July 1, has elevated anxiety in Iowa’s immigrant communities and has prompted questions among legal experts and law enforcement on how it will be enforced. It mirrors part of a Texas law that is currently blocked in court.

In Iowa and across the country, Republican leaders have accused President Joe Biden of neglecting his responsibilities to enforce federal immigration law, leading Republican governors to send troops to Texas and legislatures to propose a variety of state-level strategies.

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

After the Legislature passed the bill, Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert told The Associated Press in an email in March that immigration status does not factor into the department’s work to keep the community safe. He said the force is “not equipped, funded or staffed” to take on responsibilities that are the federal government’s.

Read the full story in Politico.