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Oppose SF 481, immigration enforcement legislation

The Iowa Catholic Conference opposes Senate File 481. While we seek to maintain our values and safety, we must also exercise compassion in assisting and continuing to "welcome the stranger."
 
Government has essentially two duties in the area of immigration. One is the enforcement of the law for the sake of the common good. The other is to welcome the stranger out of charity and respect for the human person and the family. Senate File 481 is almost all enforcement and little charity. We are asking for policies that are merciful.
 
Among other provisions, SF 481 requires local jails to comply with all requests from ICE (immigration control) to hold immigrants, even when federal law does not require it. People would be held for possible deportation, even for relatively minor offenses, when they otherwise normally would get released. This may cause the separation of families and imposition of a penalty that is out-of-proportion to the wrong that has been done.
 
In addition, when local law enforcement officials participate in immigration enforcement notification programs such as detainers, they risk losing the local relationship and trust they have worked hard to build with the immigrant communities they serve.
 
We support the right of local governments to exercise reasonable and appropriate discretion in the handling of immigrant detainees, consistent with the need to maintain public safety.
 
Please take the time to write a message in your own words to your Representative on the House Public Safety Committee in opposition to Senate File 481.
 

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