Johnson County to Vote on Immigration Enforcement Resolution

Mar 6, 2017

The Johnson County building in Iowa City.
Credit Katarina Sostaric / IPR

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on a resolution that would prevent county resources from being used to enforce immigration laws.

Under the draft resolution, the sheriff’s office would not actively try to detect undocumented immigrants. Johnson County would also refuse to detain people based on requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This does not prevent federal agents from enforcing immigration laws in the county.

Meanwhile, a bill in the Iowa Legislature would outlaw local policies that provide some protections for undocumented immigrants. Communities with so-called “sanctuary policies" could lose state funds. 

Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese authored what he calls the “community trust resolution" because he wants all residents to feel comfortable interacting with local law enforcement. He said the pending Senate bill has not changed his resolution.

“I’m proceeding as normal because I don’t think that their proposed bill could pass muster with the court," Friese said. "But in the meantime, it can still cause us an awful lot of trouble. So I’m going to press ahead with what we’re trying to do and hopefully get it passed on Tuesday.”

Iowa City adopted a similar resolution in January.