Reynolds signs bill making illegal immigration a state crime


(The Center Square) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Wednesday that would make illegal immigration a state crime.

Senate File 2340 would make illegal immigration an aggravated misdemeanor under two circumstances: If the person has been denied admission to or has been excluded, deported, or removed from the United States or if the person was previously deported and if the person left the U.S. while under a deportation or removal order and returned.

The charges are increased to a Class D felony if a person was removed after a misdemeanor conviction involving drugs or crimes against a person or if the person was subject to alien terrorist removal procedures. A Class C felony would apply if the person were removed after a felony conviction. The bill would allow judges to issue an order that removes a person convicted from the U.S.

The bill does not allow illegal immigrants to be arrested while in school, church or at a health care facility receiving treatment.

“The Biden Administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk,” Reynolds said. “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.”

The measure is similar to one passed by Texas lawmakers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans heard arguments on SB 4 last week, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. After the Supreme Court ruling, the appeals court reversed an earlier decision and ordered the hearing.

Other states are considering similar laws. Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall is introducing one there. Arizona lawmakers passed the ‘Arizona Border Invasion Act,’ but it was vetoed by Gov. Katie Hobbs.

President Joe Biden has been under fire for his immigration policies. The president said in an interview this week with Univision that his administration is not sure if he has the power to issue an executive order on immigration, according to a report by the New York Post.

The law takes effect on July 1.

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