Posted on April 12, 2024

Kim Reynolds Signs Texas-Style Immigration Law Criminalizing ‘Illegal Reentry’ Into Iowa

Stephen Gruber-Miller, Des Moines Register, April 10, 2024

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a Texas-style immigration law allowing Iowa officers to arrest undocumented immigrants under a new crime of “illegal reentry” into the state.

Reynolds signed Senate File 2340 Wednesday, making it a crime to attempt to enter Iowa after being previously deported or barred from entering the United States. It takes effect July 1.

“The Biden administration has failed to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, putting the protection and safety of Iowans at risk,” Reynolds said in a statement announcing the law signing. “Those who come into our country illegally have broken the law, yet Biden refuses to deport them. This bill gives Iowa law enforcement the power to do what he is unwilling to do: enforce immigration laws already on the books.”


The law creates a new crime of illegal reentry into the state, which applies to anyone who has previously been deported, removed or denied admission to the United States.

In most cases, the crime is an aggravated misdemeanor, which carries a two-year sentence. But it rises to a class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, in certain circumstances.

And the crime becomes a class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, if the person was arrested for another felony.

For anyone convicted of illegal reentry, the judge in the case would have to enter an order requiring the convicted person to return to the country they had come from.

The law forbids law enforcement officers from arresting someone if the person is in a school, a place of worship, a health care facility, or a facility for survivors of sexual assault.

And the legislation provides legal immunity for local law enforcement and other government officials responsible for enforcing the measure.