Federal judge pauses law which gives law enforcement ability to arrest undocumented people in state illegally

Federal judge pauses law which gives law enforcement ability to arrest undocumented people in state illegally

The bill was signed into law in April.

ByLuke Barr

June 17, 2024, 9:07 PM

    A federal judge in Iowa paused a state law giving local law enforcement the ability to arrest anyone who is in the state illegally, saying it is not the state's job, but rather the job of the federal government to enforce immigration laws.

    Signed into law in April, SF2340 is similar to the Texas law, which gives law enforcement similar powers. That law is on hold while it works its way through the courts.

    The lawsuit, filed by the ACLU of Iowa, asked the court to grant an emergency injunction and halt the law from continuing to go into effect, which the court did.

    PHOTO: Opponents of an Iowa immigration law rally outside the federal courthouse on June 10, 2024, in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

    Opponents of an Iowa immigration law rally outside the federal courthouse on June 10, 2024, in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.Scott Mcfetridge/AP

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    “As a matter of politics, the new legislation might be defensible,” Judge Stephen Locher wrote. “As a matter of constitutional law, it is not.”

    Brenna Bird, the Republican attorney general of Iowa, said she is disappointed by the ruling.

    "I am disappointed in today’s court decision that blocks Iowa from stopping illegal reentry and keeping our communities safe," she said. "Since Biden refuses to secure our borders, he has left states with no choice but to do the job for him. We will be appealing the court’s decision to uphold Iowa’s immigration enforcement law."

    As a matter of law, courts have held that immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government, not the state government.

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