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Monday, June 10, 2024

Federal court holds hearing today on Iowa’s ‘illegal re-entry’ law

Federal court holds hearing today on Iowa’s ‘illegal re-entry’ law

The Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines held a prayer vigil last night to oppose Iowa’s “illegal re-entry” immigration law that’s set for a hearing in federal court this morning.

The law that could take effect July 1st lets state and local officials arrest immigrants who were previously deported or denied entry into the U-S and order them to leave.

Bishop William Joensen led a group of immigrants and supporters in praying that the law be stopped. He says it’s troubling that it would allow some immigrants with legal status to be prosecuted.

“We’re all concerned that as a country we maintain and protect our borders and craft political and legal strategies that’ll ensure just and legal means of immigration,” Joensen says. “The church agrees with this position, but the church also maintains that the common good is not served when the basic human rights of the individual are violated.”

The state claims in legal documents that the law would not affect people with legal status.

Marisol Guerra, a teacher from Honduras, says the law may not affect her, but it affects a lot of people she knows and loves.

“These hardworking, good hearted people that live in their faith and their family,” Guerra says, “these people that are afraid that they might lose everything they have accomplished here, and they might go back to a place that they ran away from that is filled with crime, extortion, lack of opportunities.”

The U.S. Department of Justice and civil rights groups sued the state to block the law from being enforced, and a federal judge is holding a hearing on that request today.

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