Immigration: Iowa House bans ‘sanctuary’ city; passes Senate File 481

Governor Kim Reynolds. Credit:

As per the new law, if a local entity fails to assist or cooperate with federal immigration officers it may lose its state funding until the time its eligibility to receive state funds is reinstated, which may take at least 90 days.

On Tuesday, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill to a law that would escalate the enforcement of immigration laws in Iowa. The new law also has provisions to deny state funds to entities that do not comply with federal immigration laws. The law will be effective from July 1.

“A law enforcement agency in this state that has custody of a person subject to an immigration detainer request issued by United States immigration and customs enforcement shall fully comply with any instruction made in the detainer request and in any other legal document provided by a federal agency,” says Sec. 2 of the new law while explaining the duties of a law enforcement agency.

“Immigration detainer request” is a written request from the federal government including that of US Department of Homeland Security to temporarily maintain custody of an alien.

Another newly added section, Sec. 4, explains prohibitions on the restriction on enforcement of immigration laws.

“A local entity shall not adopt or enforce a policy or take any other action under which the local entity prohibits or discourages the enforcement of immigration laws,” it says.

Additionally, law enforcement officers or other officers working with local entities can inquire about the immigration status of an individual under a lawful detention or under arrest. The local entities are now also required to share information with federal or state government departments and cooperate with federal immigration officers to provide enforcement assistance

In case of failure, the local entities may be denied state funds.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a local entity, including any entity under the jurisdiction of the local entity, shall be ineligible to receive any state funds if the local entity intentionally violates this chapter,” according to the newly passed law.

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