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ICC Newsletter, May 10, 2024

Roundup on the 2024 legislative session


Every organization that advocates at the Capitol has successes and disappointments. The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) invites you to join a short Zoom webinar with a recap of the 2024 Iowa legislative session. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. You can learn about the ICC’s advocacy efforts as well as hear updates on the new immigration law and the “heartbeat” abortion law. Don't miss this opportunity to engage! Please register here.


Lawsuits challenge new immigration law


A lawsuit has been filed in federal court challenging the new state law on “illegal reentry by certain aliens.” It asks for the law to be stopped from going into effect on July 1 and a finding that the law is unconstitutional. It argues Senate File 2340 could cause someone who has previously been deported from the U.S. to face jail time or be deported, including those in the country legally with a green card or with a valid asylum claim. The American Immigration Council, American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Iowa filed the suit on behalf of the Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice.


The federal Department of Justice has also filed a lawsuit against the law arguing that the federal government has exclusive power to regulate immigration.


The Iowa bishops oppose enforcement-only measures that reduce humanitarian protections and provide no viable solutions for long-time residents without legal status.


The law:

  • Makes it an aggravated misdemeanor for a person who has been previously denied admission or deported from the US to be in Iowa.

  • Does not allow police to make arrests on the school property, church grounds or hospitals.

  • Requires a judge, after a finding of probable cause for an arrest under the bill, to order the person released to another country.


Bills approved by the governor


Gov. Reynolds is wrapping up the signing of bills from the legislative session. Among the bills of interest signed:

  • SF 2251, expanding Medicaid health insurance coverage for a mother for a full year after the baby is born (ICC supported)

  • HF 2319, prohibiting counties and cities from funding guaranteed income programs (ICC opposed).

  • SF 2421, which creates the Choose Iowa Food Purchasing Pilot Project to help support local food purchases by schools, food banks, and emergency feeding organizations, and directs $300,000 in funding to the program (ICC supported the provision)







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