By: MacKenzie Dreeszen
The subcommittee hearing for HSB 67 was held on Thursday morning. HSB 67 is a bill that would prohibit sanctuary communities in Iowa by enforcing federal immigration laws. The subcommittee was chaired by Representative Steve Holt (R, Denison), with Representative Jarad Klein (R, Keota) and Representative Wes Breckenridge (D, Newton).
Several opponents of the bill were present at the hearing. Groups registered in opposition of the bill include the ACLU, the Child and Family Policy Center, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Iowa Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund, the Iowa Catholic Conference, and the Iowa Citizens For Community Improvement Action Fund. The only group registered in support of the bill is the Iowa Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.
Following opening remarks and statements from the audience, Representative Breckenridge voiced his skepticism of HSB 67. He believes that it would create an increased burden on local law enforcement agencies.
Representative Klein said that while he understands the local control issue and the concern that domestic violence may go unreported due to fear of deportation, he “intends to sign off on this bill”.
In closing, Representative Holt concluded that “It is not hateful to enforce the law. It is not mean-spirited or racist to enforce the law. I have heard from hundreds of Iowans regarding this issue, and this is about the rule of law. There are undocumented immigrants here who have criminal backgrounds. We do not need sanctuary communities to provide a haven for them”.
Representative Holt shared stories of heinous crimes that have been committed against American citizens, including Iowans, by illegal aliens. These included an elderly woman in Council Bluffs who was brutally beaten and raped by a 19 year old illegal immigrant, a 32 year old woman in San Francisco who was murdered, and a woman from Council Bluffs who was also murdered by an illegal immigrant in Omaha the day after her college graduation.
“We cannot let ideology get in the way of enforcing the law. Therefore I will enthusiastically recommend the passage of this bill.”