Judges Consider Enforcement of Texas Immigration Law: Live Updates

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By journalsofus.com

Iowa lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday that would make it a crime to enter the state after being deported or denied entry into the United States. The approval puts the Midwestern state on track to join Texas in enforcing immigration outside the federal system.

The Iowa bill, which passed the same day the Supreme Court had briefly allowed Texas to enforce a new law empowering police officers to arrest unauthorized immigrants, now goes to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk. , a Republican, who said she planned to sign it.

“President Biden and his administration have failed to enforce our immigration laws and, in doing so, have compromised the sovereignty of our nation and the safety of its people,” Reynolds said Tuesday night in a statement. “States have stepped in to secure the border, preventing illegal immigrants from entering our country and protecting our citizens.”

Iowa Democrats, who have lost power over the past decade and are vastly outnumbered in the Legislature, mostly opposed the legislation but were unable to stop it.

“This bill is a political stunt and a false promise that does not contain the necessary resources,” said state Sen. Janice Weiner, a Democrat from the Iowa City area, when her chamber debated the measure. “It’s a bill to get you.”

The bill would make it a misdemeanor for someone to enter Iowa if they were previously deported, denied entry into the United States or left the country while facing a deportation order. In some cases, even if the person had certain prior convictions, the state offense would become a felony. Under this legislation, Iowa police officers would not be allowed to make arrests at schools, places of worship or health care facilities.

About 6 percent of people in Iowa were born outside the United States.

Passage of the bill showed the enduring political importance of immigration among conservatives even in places far from a border. As federal officials struggle to manage the influx of migrants, several Republican-led states, including Iowa, have sent National Guard troops and law enforcement officers to Texas to support Gov. Greg Abbott’s increasingly assertive approach to policing the border. .

Although Texas had already installed border security measures on private lands bordering Mexico, the law that makes it a state crime to cross the border illegally marked an escalation. The Biden administration has called that law, which until Tuesday had been blocked by the courts, as an unconstitutional infringement on federal immigration authority. Courts have not yet evaluated the merits of the Texas law, and the Iowa legislation could face its own legal challenge.

Although the Iowa bill is more limited, it signals a growing willingness by Republican officials to address immigration issues that have long been the exclusive domain of federal law enforcement. The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature passed a bill this year that would have authorized state police to arrest undocumented immigrants, but it was vetoed by the governor, a Democrat.

Even in Iowa, where the State Capitol is about 1,100 miles from the Mexican border and 500 miles from Canada, Republicans framed illegal immigration as an urgent threat to public safety.

“Every state is a border state,” state Sen. Jeff Reichman, a Republican from southeastern Iowa, said this month. “Iowa is no exception.”

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