A Mexican Restaurant in Iowa
A man walks past the American Legion and the Acapulco Mexican Bakery in Iowa's first Hispanic-majority city of West Liberty AFP

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill that makes it a crime to be in the state if previously denied admission or deported from the United States.

The law is set to go into effect on July 1 and comes as many Republican-led states push for such measures amid a surge of immigration to the country.

Most notable among them is Texas' SB4, which allows for the arrest and deportation of migrants who are unlawfully in the United States. The federal government and the state are currently embroiled in a battle over the legality of the law.

"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 after signing the bill.

"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, known as Senate File 2340, includes criminal charges for people with outstanding deportation orders as well as for those who have been previously removed or denied entry to the country.

Once in custody, offenders can either agree with a judge's order to leave the country or face criminal prosecution. Those who don't leave can face more serious charges.

The judge's order must identify the way in which those apprehended will leave the country. A state law enforcement officer or agency have to monitor the departures.

However, implementation can pose a challenge. Des Moines' Police Chief told The Associated Press in March that his force is "not equipped, funded or staffed" to take on such responsibilities.

"Simply stated, not only do we not have the resources to assume this additional task, we don't even have the ability to perform this function," Wingert said.

Tennessee, Louisiana and Georgia are some of the Republican-led states who have introduced similar measures following Texas' lead.

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