Iowa Joins Texas in Making Illegal Immigration a State Crime

Migrants wait to climb over concertina wire after they crossed the Rio Grande and entered
AP Photo/Eric Gay

The Republican governor of Iowa signed a bill into law that makes illegal immigration a state crime if the person had been deported once already or denied entry before, a law similar in nature to that in Texas.

The bill signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) on Wednesday is meant to take effect on July 1, but could be delayed by court challenges, the New York Times reported.

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Iowa’s Senate Bill 2340 makes illegal reentry into the U.S. a state crime and with certain limits gives state police officials the power to return an illegal to their home country.

The law also grants immunity from liability to law enforcement agencies and individuals.

Reynolds blasted the Biden administration in her signing.

“The Biden administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk,” Reynolds said. “Those who come into our country illegally have broken the law, yet Biden refuses to deport them. This bill gives Iowa law enforcement the power to do what he is unwilling to do: enforce immigration laws already on the books.”

The Associated Press

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her inaugural address, January 13, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

State Democrats railed against the bill, with Democrat state Sen. Janice Weiner calling it a “political stunt.” Weiner added that there are no real resources for Iowa law enforcement officials to return illegals to their home countries. “It’s a gotcha bill,” she exploded.

The Times explained:

The law makes it a misdemeanor for a person to enter Iowa if they were previously deported from the United States, denied entry to the country, or left the country while facing a deportation order. In some cases, including people with certain prior convictions, the state crime would become a felony. To enforce the new law, Iowa police officers would be allowed to make arrests in most places, but not in schools, places of worship or health care facilities.

On the other side of the issue, Republican Rep. Steven Holt said that states have to act on illegal immigration because the Biden administration is failing to do so.

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Margo Martin via Storyful

“Many other states are standing up to protect their sovereignty, and their citizens and Iowa must do the same,” Holt exclaimed.

Iowa join Texas in attempting to take control of the illegal alien issue.

Texas passed its SB4 immigration law in 2023, but it was repeatedly put on hold as one court or another weighed in on the law. Even the U.S. Supreme Court gave the law the green light while other cases are litigated.

Like Iowa and Texas, several other states are also beginning to look at the idea of taking on illegal immigration, including Georgia, New Hampshire, and Tennessee.

The country of Mexico, though, is also looking to jump into the legal fray. According to CNN, Mexico has threatened to take Iowa to court for its new anti-illegal law and to try and force its repeal.

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