Iowa has no sanctuary cities, but we do have 26 Iowa county jails who have said publicly in the past that they will honor the constitution and not hold people longer than properly authorized, simply because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requested it.
Across the country, including here in Iowa, law enforcement has refused to expose Iowa taxpayers to legal liability by detaining immigrants on behalf of ICE without a warrant or longer than authorized in violation of the Constitution and principles of federal preemption.
President Trump does not have the legal authority to unilaterally defund these jurisdictions that protect people’s rights and stay clear of the deportation business. While he may be counting on those jurisdictions to buckle under the pressure of his bully pulpit, local officials around the country have already begun preparing to defend their lawful policies.
The ACLU will stand by any local jurisdictions that choose to sue the federal government should it attempt to enforce President Trump's executive order to require them to engage in unconstitutional detainers. Any attempt from the federal government to commandeer state and local governments into carrying out federal policies will violate the 10th Amendment, and attempts to coerce local entities into action by withholding funds violates the Spending Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The law is clear on this, and President Trump is out of line.
Law enforcement officials who protect the constitution for both citizens and immigrants represent the best this country has to offer: a spirit of inclusiveness and respect for individual rights. These are the principles that we will continue to fight for against all who try to root it out.
FInd out more about what the ACLU is doing nationally to combat Trump's unconstitutional executive actions on immigration.