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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Judge to rule soon on Iowa’s immigration enforcement law

Judge to rule soon on Iowa’s immigration enforcement law

A federal judge plans to issue a ruling before July 1 on whether state officials may enforce an Iowa law to deport immigrants who’ve been deported before.

The judge heard legal arguments in a Des Moines courtroom earlier today about the law, which is scheduled to take effect July 1. Emma Winger, deputy legal director for the American Immigration Council, spoke during an online news conference this afternoon. “We’re here today because the state has tried to set up its own deportation system which, frankly, makes no sense,” she said, “and it’s clearly unconstitutional.”

Winger and an attorney from the U.S. Department of Justice told the judge immigrants who were previously deported could be arrested even if they now have legal permission to be in the country.

“Ultimately these types of laws create absolute chaos and human suffering,” Winger said during the news conference, “and have no place in our legal system.”

In a written statement, Iowa Attorney General said “”since President Biden is refusing to enforce immigration laws, Iowa is doing the job for him.”

Patrick Valencia, the state’s deputy solicitor general, told the judge states have police power to enforce federal laws and Iowa’s law would not affect immigrants who’ve been granted legal status to stay in the United States. Winger said while federal law gives protection to those who’ve been deported and return with the permission of the federal government, the Iowa law does not have that exception.

“Even if it were true that this law were just enforcing federal standards, the state can’t do that,” Winger said. “The responsibility for enforcing federal immigration standards belongs solely to the federal government.”

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit is an 18 year old high school student who was brought into the U-S as a child by her mother after her father was murdered and her sister kidnapped in another country. The young woman, who was deported as a child, is living in Iowa now after being granted asylum.

The federal government is suing to block similar illegal reentry laws in Texas and Oklahoma.

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