Judicial Watch • Iowa City Considers Sanctuary Law

Iowa City Considers Sanctuary Law

Iowa City Considers Sanctuary Law

OCTOBER 27, 2010

While local governments across the U.S. work to contain the devastating impact of illegal immigration, lawmakers in one Midwest city are considering enacting legislation to attract undocumented aliens.

Members of the City Council in Iowa City announced this week that they are contemplating passing a measure to make their municipality a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. The idea was introduced by a group of influential community leaders that believe illegal immigrants should have protections, according to a local news report.

The city’s legal department is preparing the paperwork for council members to consider and several officials, including the police chief, have met to discuss offering illegal immigrants sanctuary. That means the city will shield illegal aliens from federal immigration authorities and no public resources—including police—will be used to enforce immigration laws.

Nationwide there are dozens of sanctuary cities that have shielded violent illegal aliens from deportation after arrests or criminal convictions because police are banned from inquiring about suspects’ immigration status. Judicial Watch has sued several major police departments—including Los Angeles and Chicago—for their illegal don’t-ask-don’t tell immigration policies, which have enabled repeat offenders to continue victimizing innocent Americans.

The Obama Justice Department has made clear that it will not take action against local governments that violate the federal statute by offering illegal immigrants sanctuary. The 14-year-old law (Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996) specifically requires states and municipalities to cooperate with federal authorities when it comes to immigration enforcement.

As a state, Iowa has long been friendly to illegal immigrants. For years state lawmakers have worked to pass a measure to give illegal aliens discounted in-state tuition at public colleges and universities. The state’s renowned meatpacking factories are also magnets for undocumented workers. A few years ago, hundreds of illegal aliens were arrested at local meatpacking plants in the nation’s largest workplace raids.

 

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