Photo Credit: Iowa Public Radio Images (CC-By-ND 2.0)
Photo Credit: Iowa Public Radio Images (CC-By-ND 2.0)

Update (4/11/18): Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed SF 481, a ban on sanctuary cities and counties, Tuesday afternoon along with 16 other bills without comment.

Update (4/4/18): The Iowa Senate passed the House amended version of SF 481 28 to 18 to send the bill to Governor Kim Reynolds’ desk.

The bill passed along party lines. State Senator David Johnson (I-Ocheydan) voted with Iowa Senate Democrats. State Senator Rich Taylor (D-Mt. Pleasant) was present but did not vote. State Senators Tod Bowman (D-Maquoketa) and Robert Dvorsky (D-Coralville) were absent for the bote.

Original (4/3/18): The Iowa House passed SF 481, a ban on sanctuary cities and counties, by a vote of 55 to 45 on Tuesday afternoon. The bill that passed the Iowa Senate 32 to 15 on April 12, 2017, will have to go back to the Senate for approval since it was amended in the House.

The bill requires that law enforcement agencies comply with immigration detainer requests from ICE if they have an illegal immigrant in custody. The bill also requires illegal immigrants with a detainer request currently in a state correctional facility serve out the end of their sentence in a federal correctional facility for a period of no more than seven days.

It also prohibits cities or counties from adopting or enforcing a policy or take any other action that prohibits or discourages the enforcement of immigration laws. It also prevents cities and counties from prohibiting or discouraging law enforcement officers, correctional officers, county attorneys, city attorneys, or any other official employed or under the direction of a city or county from inquiring about the immigration status of a person who has been lawfully detained or arrested, contacting ICE or other relevant federal agency, from maintaining immigration status information of persons lawfully detained, or exchanging that information with another local, state, or federal agency. The original bill also requires the cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officers that is reasonable or necessary. Cities and counties would also be required to give federal immigration authorities access to correctional and detention facilities to enforce immigration law.

The bill also states that cities and counties are not to ask the victim or witness of an alleged event their national origin or for any information that is not relevant to the alleged public offense. It also prohibits discrimination based on race, skin color, language spoken, or national origin in the enforcement of immigration law.

If the bill becomes law, counties and cities that violate the law could have state funds withheld for a year.

The House version restricted complaints to be filed with the Attorney General’s office. The Senate version also allowed complaints to be filed with county attorneys.

State Representative Charlie McConkey (D-Council Bluffs) joined 54 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. State Representatives Michael Bergen (R-Dorchester), David Heaton (R-Mt. Pleasant), Megan Jones (R-Spencer), Kevin Koester (R-Ankeny), and Gary Worthan (R-Storm Lake) joined 40 Democrats who voted against the bill.

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