DOJ sues Iowa over state immigration law

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Iowa on Thursday over a new law that prohibits people from entering the state if previously they had been denied entry to the United States.

Iowa Senate File 2340 declares it illegal for anyone to be in Iowa who has been removed from the U.S. previously or has a deportation order pending.

Brian M. Boynton is the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division and the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney-General.

We have taken this action in order to ensure that Iowa adheres the framework adopted by Congress as well as the Constitution to regulate immigration.


The lawsuit comes after the Justice Department informed Iowa last week it would file a lawsuit if the state implements the law. It noted that the Supreme Court had previously determined only federal authorities have the authority to enforce immigration laws.

Boynton stated that the law “effectively created a separate state-level immigration scheme” which “intrudes in a field occupied by federal government, and is preempted.”

Iowa Department of Justice has not responded to a request for comment immediately.

The Iowa law is a follow-up to a law passed in Texas that gave local law enforcement authorities the authority to carry out immigration duties, and to deport migrants perceived as coming from Mexico, regardless their country of origin.

The DOJ also sued this law, and the litigation has been put on pause while it continues.

The Justice Department lawsuit follows another filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Council earlier on Thursday.

This ugly law is harmful to Iowa communities and families. Iowa lawmakers deliberately targeted those who were protected by federal immigration law and are allowed to legally be in the country, such as people who have been granted asylum or who received special visas for survivors of domestic abuse or other crimes.

There are many reasons why the federal government enforces immigration laws, rather than all 50 states enforcing their own immigration schemes. It’s difficult to overstate just how absurd and awful this law is.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), who defended the passage of this law in Iowa, has done so before.

Reynolds stated in a social media post last week that the Biden Administration refused to enforce laws already in place.

“It is my duty to protect Iowans.” We will enforce the law, unlike the federal government.

The Justice Department’s initial litigation against other laws and practices that it views as challenging federal authority has been successful.

The DOJ also filed a lawsuit against Texas for placing large buoys on the Rio Grande in order to prevent migrants from crossing the river. It also challenged Texas’s placement of concertina fence along the border because it interfered with U.S. Immigration agents performing their jobs.