Iowa Enacts Strict Immigration Law Amid Federal Inaction

On Wednesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a new bill into law, positioning the state at the forefront of a growing national trend among Republican-led states taking responsibility for border security in the face of the Biden administration’s refusal to enforce federal immigration law. The Iowa measure will go into effect on July 1.

This new legislation empowers state and local law enforcement officials to arrest individuals who have reentered the U.S. illegally and have been previously deported or barred from entry. It also grants Iowa state courts the authority to issue deportation orders.

“The Biden Administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk,” Reynolds stated during the bill signing.

Iowa’s move follows the lead of Texas, where new state laws have been enacted to address the ongoing border crisis. The Biden administration has aggressively litigated against Texas as the Lone Star State takes a stand for the safety and security of its citizens and their property. The Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) argues that Texas lacks the legal authority to act on matters involving immigration. However, that position is based solely on judicial precedent and not on the text of the Constitution.

The pushback from the Biden DOJ has incentivized Republican lawmakers at the state level around the nation to take up local measures to address the flood of illegal immigrants and the corresponding crime plaguing their citizens. Several red states are now considering legislation similar to the law just passed in Iowa.

American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa Executive Director Mark Stringer has condemned the Iowa act as “one of the most extreme anti-immigrant bills in the nation.” Stringer argues that the law encourages “racial profiling” and undermines public safety by straining already limited state resources and law enforcement capabilities.

Legal experts anticipate that the Biden DOJ, the ACLU, and other progressive pro-illegal immigration groups will challenge the new Iowa law, using similar legal tactics that have been launched against Texas. One of the fights over the conflict between federal and state authority will likely make it to the Supreme Court for a definitive resolution.

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