The fight against ‘clearly unconstitutional’ Iowa immigration law

immigration law

Iowans rally in opposition to SF 2340, a new immigration law that would undercut federal immigration law, on May 9, 2024. (Avery Staker/ Iowa Starting Line)

By Amie Rivers

June 11, 2024

Recent Iowa immigrants and allies are still fighting against an Iowa immigration law they say unfairly discriminates against and targets them.

Lawyers with the US Department of Justice and the American Immigration Council argued in court Monday that a judge should stop SF 2340 from going into effect July 1. The law would allow state courts to deport people if they’ve ever been deported before, even if they’re now legal US residents.

“The state has tried to set up its own deportation system, which, frankly, makes no sense and is clearly unconstitutional,” said Emma Winger, deputy legal director for the American Immigration Council.

The law is set to go into effect July 1, but opponents hope the judge will rule before then.

More than 150 people came to the Des Moines hearing on Monday from Iowa City and Waterloo to protest.

“Our message to Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird is: Stop defending this unconstitutional, anti-God law,” said Father Nils Hernandez of Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Waterloo.

Escucha Mi Voz, an immigration reform organization with more than 500 members in the Iowa City area, said if the law went into effect July 1, it would plan a Day Without an Immigrant strike that day.

“Immigration is the foundation of our nation, and immigrants have historically worked in some of the most essential, hardest, and dangerous jobs,” said Iowa Federation of Labor President Charlie Wishman. “Our nation needs real comprehensive immigration reform, not absurd political theater that uses people as pawns.

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  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.

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