Bird Says Legal Wrangling Over States’ Immigration Laws Likely To Wind Up In US Supreme Court

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird says there is a good possibility the US Supreme Court will review an appeal from Iowa or two other states that have passed immigration enforcement laws.

Earlier this week a federal judge in Des Moines issued an order temporarily blocking enforcement of Iowa’s illegal reentry law. It would let Iowa officials arrest and deport immigrants who’ve previously been deported or were denied entry to the US. Bird is appealing that ruling to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

The US Justice Department and civil rights groups filed lawsuits arguing the federal government has sole authority to enforce immigration laws and the state law that was to go into effect July 1st is unconstitutional. The lawsuits cite a 2012 US Supreme Court ruling that overturned an Arizona law that would have given Arizona police authority to arrest undocumented immigrants suspected of committing any crime that made them eligible for deportation.

The Arizona law that was overturned also sought to make it a state crime for unauthorized immigrants to fail to have some sort of government-issued ID. Emma Winger, an attorney with the American Immigration Council, says Iowa’s law could lead to deporting people who’ve obtained legal residency or asylum in the US after being deported.


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