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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Iowa AG says lawsuits over states’ immigration laws likely to reach Supreme Court

Iowa AG says lawsuits over states’ immigration laws likely to reach Supreme Court

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird says there is “a good possibility” the U.S. Supreme Court will review an appeal from Iowa or two other states that have passed immigration enforcement laws.

“This type of case, whether it’s Iowa’s case or another state’s case, is likely to make it through the appellate courts and I think probably one of them will go the Supreme Court or that’s at least a good possibility,” Bird told reporters in Des Moines.. “We have strong legal arguments to make there to distinguish Iowa’s law from some of the precedent they applied in the district court.”

Earlier this week a federal judge in Des Moines issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of Iowa’s illegal reentry law. It would let Iowa officials arrest and deport immigrants who’ve previously been deported or were denied entry to the United States. Bird is appealing that ruling to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

“Iowa had to pass this law because the federal govenrment wasn’t doing their job and not securing the border,” Bird said, “and I would hope the Biden Administration would spend energy securing the border rather than suing states like Iowa that are enforcing our immigration laws.”

The U.S. Justice Department and civil rights groups filed lawsuits arguing the federal government has sole authority to enforce immigration laws and the state law that was to go into effect July 1 is unconstitutional. The lawsuits cite a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned an Arizona law that would have given Arizona police authority to arrest undocumented immigrants suspected of committing any crime that made them eligible for deportation.

“Iowa’s law enforces existing immigration law,” Bird said. “The Arizona law that was at issue in that case was different.”

The Arizona law that was overturned also sought to make it a state crime for unauthorized immigrants to fail to have some sort of government-issued ID. Emma Winger, an attorney with the American Immigration Council, said Iowa’s law could lead to deporting people who’ve obtained legal residency or asylum in the U.S. after being deported.

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