Challenging Iowa’s State Deportation Law

Iowa Movement for Migrant Justice, et al., v. Attorney General of Iowa Brenda Bird, et al., No. 4:24-cv-00161 (filed May 9, 2024, S.D. Iowa)


Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, a membership-based immigration legal services and advocacy organization, and two Iowa residents challenge Iowa’s new criminal reentry and removal law, Senate File 2340.

S.F. 2340 attempts to replace federal immigration law and set up an independent, punitive state immigration scheme. S.F.2340 purports to give Iowa state officials broad power to arrest, detain, and deport noncitizens in Iowa who reentered the United States after a previous removal or exclusion. Under this novel system, the State of Iowa has created its own immigration crime which will require state police to identify and arrest noncitizens for alleged violations; state prosecutors to bring charges in state courts; state judges to order deportation; and state officers to facilitate those orders. The law even applies to noncitizens that reenter with federal permission or who subsequently obtain lawful federal immigration status. The federal government has no role in, and no control over, Iowa’s unconstitutional immigration scheme.

Plaintiffs contend that S.F. 2340 will create a system where the state impermissibly takes over the federal government’s central role in regulating immigration.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa by the American Immigration Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Iowa.

Follow this case:

  • June 17, 2024
    In a victory for immigrant communities and families, on June 17 a federal district court in Iowa issued a preliminary injunction to block SF 2340, one of the worst, most far-reaching immigration laws ever passed in the state of Iowa.

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