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
- Employment and immigration
- Iowa E-Verify requirements
- Driver's license/ID requirements
- Public benefits restrictions
- Education checks
- Voting ID rules
- Housing ordinances and immigration
- Related resources
- Contact an immigration attorney
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:
- Federal immigration authorities
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
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.
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.
Applicants must show proof of citizenship or legal residence to get a driver's license.
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."
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.
To vote, you must present proof of identity and residence. Acceptable documents include driver's licenses, student IDs, utility bills, and bank statements.
In Iowa, landlords are not required to check the immigration statuses of applicants and renters.
- Know Your Rights — A guide to protecting yourself and your family during immigration raids
- Catherine McCauley Center — An organization providing extensive resources for immigrants in Iowa
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.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.