New Immigration Enforcement Law Signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

New Immigration Enforcement Law Signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed legislation Wednesday making it a criminal to remain in the state if a person has previously been denied entry to or deported from the United States.

The big picture: Reynolds is the latest of several Republican governors to accuse President Biden of not doing enough to enforce federal immigration law and take state action in response to record numbers of immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border amid a larger global humanitarian crisis.

Reynolds is one of several Republican governors who have sent National Guard members to Texas to assist at the border.

The Iowa bill is similar to legislation in Texas that empowers state officials to arrest and deport immigrants who have crossed the US-Mexico border without legal authorization, which is now on hold while being challenged in court.

Undocumented immigrants might face up to two years in prison if they are determined to have illegally entered Iowa under the state’s new law, SF 2340, which goes into effect on July 1.

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“The Biden Administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk,” Reynolds stated in a statement on Wednesday.

“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.”

In a statement released Wednesday, Mark Stringer, executive director of the ACLU of Iowa, described the bill as “one of the most extreme, discriminatory, and unconstitutional anti-immigrant bills in the country.”