Iowa Governor Signs Bill That Gives State Authority To Arrest Migrants

( – Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is no stranger to controversy or strong opinions. She has repeatedly taken strong conservative stances on high-profile issues. On Wednesday, April 10, she signed Senate File (SF) 2340 into law, giving law enforcement officers in her state the authority to arrest illegal immigrants.

The new Iowa law, which will take effect on July 1, will make it illegal for anyone whom federal authorities previously denied entry into the US or deported at any point in the past to exist within the state’s borders. However, the law prohibits authorities from arresting individuals to enforce the statute if they are attending private or public primary or secondary schools, churches, synagogues, other houses of worship, or healthcare facilities.

The new law resembles a Texas law, Senate Bill (SB) 4, currently entangled in court battles with the Federal Government. The two share some similar points, encouraging state and local law enforcement authorities to identify, capture, and deport illegal immigrants. Iowa could find itself dealing with some of the same legal issues as Texas regarding the new law.

The Justice Department (DOJ) has argued that the Texas law violated the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause by preempting federal authority over immigration. In a January press release, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta explained, “[S]tates cannot adopt immigration laws that interfere with the framework enacted by Congress.”

Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, added that the DOJ had to take legal action because states “cannot disregard the United States Constitution and settled Supreme Court precedent.”

Yet, Reynolds and other Republican leaders claim the Biden administration “has failed to enforce” border policy. The governor claimed the administration risked “the protection and safety of Iowans,” a value she wouldn’t compromise. She said the new law would allow law enforcers in her state to do what President Joe Biden wouldn’t.

Still, the measure is raising concerns in some minority communities. Some residents are asking what to do about profiling or whether they should leave the state preemptively. Additionally, law officers like Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert have indicated they don’t have the funding, equipment, or personnel to take on a giant task they see as the federal government’s responsibility.

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