Iowa considering new immigration enforcement bill

Would require locals to cooperate with federal immigration agents.

Posted: Jan 28, 2018 11:26 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has jumped into the national debate over immigration with an expansive enforcement bill that would require local governments to comply with federal immigration agents or risk losing state funds.

The measure is scheduled for at least one vote this week in the Republican-controlled statehouse.

It would force law enforcement to hold a jailed person for possible deportation if requested by federal agents. Legal experts say holding people longer than normal is unconstitutional.

The bill is framed as a ban on so-called sanctuary cities, a catch-all label for jurisdictions that limit local involvement in federal immigration enforcement.

Supporters say the bill focuses on immigrants in Iowa illegally who are accused of crimes, but the legislation has a wide scope and raises questions about local government control.

The bill could plunge Iowa into costly litigation.

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