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A federal judge will determine the constitutionality of Iowa’s immigration statute



Des Moines, Iowa – On Monday, advocates for immigration rights and the federal government urged a federal court to prevent the implementation of a new immigration legislation in Iowa next month.

Being in the state is a criminal for anyone with a history of deportation or denied entry to the US. Furthermore, it vests deportation authority in judges.
On Monday, some 150 protesters gathered outside the Des Moines federal courtroom to voice their opposition to Senate File 2340.

Manny Galvez with Escucha Mi Voz said, “We are here because we believe we have a right to have a better future. We are here because nobody can stop us to keep dreaming.”

Sister Kathleen Henneberry with the Congregation of the Humility of Mary said, “Jesus was always inclusive no matter who was in the crowd. We as people of faith believe the same in 2024.”

Proponents of state sovereignty over immigration policy argue that the bill is unconstitutional and would empower each of the 50 states to establish its own system. This law is not a solution to the problems that the federal government has been causing with immigration, according to Erica Johnson of the Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice. Proponents of the law claim that it was approved in response to these frustrations.

At issue here is the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which states, in plain English, that federal law supersedes all state legislation.

The plaintiffs contend that by enacting its own immigration laws, the state is seeking to override federal law. The case was argued in court on Monday by Emma Winger of the American Immigration Council. Winger said, “The state law makes it impossible for the federal law to be complied with including for example that the state law doesn’t include an exception for people who re-entered lawfully whereas the federal law does. And that’s a clear conflict. The two don’t work together and so the state law has to get the boot.”

There is some similarity between the Texas law that was invalidated and the law in Iowa. The judge will be swayed, according to Winger. “Those decisions, they’re not binding on this court. They don’t have to follow them but they’re certainly very persuasive right. When a federal court of appeals does its own analysis and says this is unconstitutional, this judge is obviously very concerned about that and will take their reasons very seriously. So, it’s likely to influence the judge’s decision in this case,” Winger said.

In a statement, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird says “Since Biden refuses to enforce our immigration laws, Iowa is doing the job for him.” Bird goes on to say, “If Biden invested half as much energy into securing our borders as he does suing states like Iowa, we would all be better off.” reporting.

The judge says he will make a decision before the law takes effect July 1.