Iowa Blocks Hateful Anti-Immigrant Law

June 17, 2024
Last modified: 
June 17, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC, 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. 

(Download the decision here)

“The court was right to block this cruel and blatantly unconstitutional law. If it had been allowed to go into effect, it would have meant that even people currently living in the U.S. lawfully could have been arrested, imprisoned, and forced to leave the country,” said Emma Winger, deputy legal director at the American Immigration Council. “Sadly, we are still seeing copycat laws and proposed measures that would cause irreparable harm for immigrant families, including in Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma. These types of laws create absolute chaos and human suffering, and have no place in our legal system.” 

"Today’s order means the law cannot be enforced for now while the case is litigated. We are relieved and grateful for the court’s decision which for the time being blocks SF2340, among the worst anti-immigrant legislation in Iowa’s history and which exposed even lawful immigrants, and even children, to serious harms—arrest, detention, deportation, family separation, and incarceration, by the state," said Rita Bettis Austen, ACLU of Iowa legal director.

"The court powerfully and accurately found that the law is 'untenable.' This state law conflicts with federal law and dumps the responsibility of immigration enforcement on state and local law enforcement and judges. Local law enforcement in Iowa have spoken up to say that they don't want this duty, given the significant ways that such enforcement would erode the ability of local law enforcement to protect public safety," added Bettis Austen.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa by the American Immigration Council, the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project on behalf of Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice and the thousands of immigrants that the organization assists, including two individual Iowans. 

Learn more about the lawsuit here.  

See past documents filed in the lawsuit here. 


For more information, contact:

Elyssa Pachico at the American Immigration Council at 503-850-8407 (cell) or [email protected] 

 About the American Immigration Council

The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. In January 2022, the Council and New American Economy merged to combine a broad suite of advocacy tools to better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming. Follow the latest Council news and information on and X @immcouncil. 


Media Contact

Elyssa Pachico
[email protected]

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