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Iowa State Immigration Laws

Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of Iowa immigration laws. A helpful breakdown of immigration issues must include a discussion of state and federal laws. It's also essential to address how federal and state authorities interact in enforcing those laws.

Below, you will find information on:

Law Enforcement and Immigration in Iowa

Under a federal program, law enforcement fingerprints all convicts and puts their names in a federal database. This program is the "Criminal Apprehension Program." The database checks criminal records and immigration statuses. The Criminal Apprehension program shares this information with:

Employment and Immigration

For more information, refer to the federal employment eligibility verification rules. Also, review the requirements for Form I-9. In Iowa, employers are not required to check applicants' and employees' immigration status.

Iowa E-Verify Requirements

There are no requirements to use E-Verify for checking employees' status. But, this does not extend to federal employees or contractors. Such employees must undergo checks.

Driver's License/ID Requirements

Applicants must show proof of citizenship or legal residence to get a driver's license.

Public Benefits Restrictions

Under federal law, immigrants and migrants living here illegally cannot get most public benefits. But they can get emergency services. They may also get health care services and other programs "necessary to protect life and safety."

Education Checks

State schools are not required to check applicants' and students' immigration statuses. This extends to DACA recipients. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It protects eligible young adults from deportation after their parents brought them to the United States as children. It also gives these young adults work authorization for limited periods. Those periods of work authorization are renewable. Learn more about DACA by reviewing USCIS's FAQ page.

Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), victims of domestic violence have an easier way toward legal living in the United States. They can get a U visa. Under this law, holders of U visas have temporary protected statuses. Included within those eligible for U visas are victims of human trafficking and their family members.

Voting ID Rules

To vote, you must present proof of identity and residence. Acceptable documents include driver's licenses, student IDs, utility bills, and bank statements.

Housing Ordinances and Immigration

In Iowa, landlords are not required to check the immigration statuses of applicants and renters.

Related Resources

Need More Help? Contact an Attorney

Navigating the U.S. immigration system is challenging. You might be struggling through an immigration-related process. So, it's vital to seek legal advice from licensed immigration lawyers.

Seeking legal representation can be helpful for issues beyond deportation. Legal assistance is necessary even in regular dealings with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The differences between federal regulations and those of Iowa can confuse anyone. Immigrant communities are already vulnerable. It's essential to seek the help of qualified attorneys in defending your rights.

If you cannot afford an attorney, you can also find attorneys pro bono. Pro bono means that attorneys offer services free of charge. Many non-profit organizations provide such services. Contact Iowa Legal Aid if you need more help finding low-cost or free legal help for low-income people.

If you're going through the naturalization process, an attorney can also help. Immigration attorneys offer invaluable services. Immigration legal services can make your life much easier. Advocacy and legal services are widely available in Spanish. Whether you're in Des Moines or another part of Iowa, a farm worker, or a professional, knowing your rights is important.

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