GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds Signs Bill Allowing State, Local Officials To Arrest Illegal Immigrants

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill Wednesday that will allow both state and local enforcement officials to arrest illegal immigrants who reentered the U.S., as well as authorizing state courts to deport them.

Bill SF 2340, which is expected to go into effect July 1, allows the state to enforce immigration laws and prevent illegal reentry into the state, according to a press release. If caught by officials within the state, illegal immigrants could potentially face up to two years in prison.  (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Red States File Brief Against DHS To Protect Themselves Against Illegal Immigration)

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

Many Republican elected officials across the U.S. have been attempting to protect their states against illegal immigration as data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows officials have encountered nearly 7.3 million illegal immigrants since 2021. However, some states have had an ongoing legal battle with the federal government over these efforts.

Texas, which has a law similar to Iowa’s new legislation being blocked in court, has been in an ongoing fight with the Biden administration over the state’s right to Constitutionally protect itself from the high volume of migrants crossing through the border. Regardless, GOP lawmakers have shown the Lone Star state a massive amount of support over the last few months, with some sending their National Guard troops to help protect the border.

While the Iowa Legislature passed the bill last month, there appear to be questions and concerns over how officials should go about the new addition.

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert told the Associated Press in March that immigration status is not a part of the department’s efforts to protect the community. Wingert told the outlet they were “not equipped, funded or staffed” to aid in the new responsibilities.

“Simply stated, not only do we not have the resources to assume this additional task, we don’t even have the ability to perform this function,” Wingert said.

President of the Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association and Linn County Deputy Sheriff Shawn Ireland told AP News in March that many officials would have to seek guidance from their county attorneys on how to properly implement and enforce the new legislation.