Are Iowa Immigration, Sanctuary Cities Bills Needed?

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Bills in the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature this session purport to enforce federal immigration laws, but academics say some proposals are redundant and could face legal challenges.

The proposed bills include a so-called sanctuary cities ban that would require state, local and college officials to follow laws related to immigration. Another proposal would ensure employers don’t knowingly hire people who aren’t in the country legally. A third measure would prohibit Iowa courts from applying foreign law to state cases, which some critics say is anti-Islam.

Legal experts and academics argue that existing federal laws already cover these topics, and adding new legislation could open the state up to lawsuits.

Republicans dispute any argument that Iowa isn’t welcoming to immigrants, and they emphasize that the measures ensure rules are followed.

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