July 25th, 2024

A judge temporarily blocks Iowa law that allows authorities to charge people facing deportation

By Scott Mcfetridge, The Associated Press on June 17, 2024.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked an Iowa law that allowed law enforcement in the state to file criminal charges against people with outstanding deportation orders or who previously had been denied entry to the U.S.

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Locher issued a preliminary injunction because he said the U.S. Department of Justice and civil rights groups who filed suit against the state were likely to succeed in their argument that federal immigration law preempted the law approved this spring by Iowa lawmakers.

“As a matter of politics, the new legislation might be defensible,” Locher wrote in his decision. “As a matter of constitutional law, it is not.”

The Iowa law, which was set to take effect July 1, would let law enforcement file charges to be brought against people who have outstanding deportation orders or who previously have been removed from or denied admission to the U.S. Once in custody, migrants could either agree to a judge’s order to leave the U.S. or be prosecuted, potentially facing time in prison before deportation.

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