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Iowa Facing Lawsuit Threat from DOJ Over Proposed Immigration Law

Justice Department warns it plans to sue Iowa (Credits: NewsNation)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a stern warning to Iowa, threatening to take legal action if it implements a controversial immigration law that criminalizes individuals previously denied entry into the United States or have outstanding deportation orders.

The law, signed by Governor Kim Reynolds on April 10, will take effect on July 1 and would make it a crime for individuals to be present in Iowa under these circumstances.

In a letter addressed to Governor Reynolds and state Attorney General Brenna Bird, the DOJ argued that the law violates the Constitution and the Immigration and Nationality Act, effectively creating a separate state immigration scheme that intrudes on federal authority. The DOJ has given Iowa until May 7 to reverse course or face a lawsuit.

Iowa will face a lawsuit if it acts on immigration law (Credits: Axios)

Governor Reynolds and Attorney General Bird have signaled their intention to push ahead with the law despite the DOJ’s warning. Reynolds stated that it is her “duty” to protect Iowa residents and that the law is necessary because the Biden Administration has failed to enforce existing immigration laws.

Bird echoed this sentiment, accusing the Biden Administration of refusing to secure the border and enforce federal immigration laws. The DOJ’s threat of a lawsuit is not idle.

The department has already taken legal action against Texas earlier this year over a law that allowed state law enforcement to carry out immigration duties and deport individuals perceived to be migrants.

The law has been put on hold while litigation continues. The DOJ has also sued Texas over its placement of buoys in the Rio Grande to block migrants crossing the river and its use of concertina wire alongside the border, arguing that these actions interfere with federal immigration agents carrying out their jobs.

DOJ Threatens Legal Action Against Iowa Over Immigration Legislation (Credits: Potters House)

Nationally, Republicans have been critical of President Biden’s handling of immigration, accusing him of not enforcing federal law on the southern border.

House Republicans impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in February and derailed a bipartisan deal brokered in the Senate that would have imposed new restrictions along the border.

Iowa’s law is part of a larger trend of states seeking to take immigration enforcement into their own hands, despite the DOJ’s insistence that immigration enforcement is a power reserved to the federal government. This legal battle could have huge implications for the balance of power between the states and the federal government on immigration issues.

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