DES MOINES, Iowa -- There are no sanctuary cities in Iowa but a bill up for consideration would not allow for any restrictions to be made on immigration enforcement. Members of Iowa's Latino community says the bill could make them even more vulnerable.
The Iowa House of Representatives passed Senate File 481 on Tuesday. It would require local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration agencies. Lawmakers in favor of the bill say banning sanctuary cities is safer for both US citizens and undocumented immigrants. The Iowa Senate will cast their final vote on the bill Wednesday night.
Fabiloa Shirrmiester disagrees. She's co - founder of social media podcast show, Que Pasa Iowa. It's a show run by Latino for Latinos that digs deep into issues that couple impact the Spanish-speaking community. Advocates say the bill will only create more fear for those in the community.
"It will promoting racial profiling by our local law enforcement. It will hurt that relationship between the law enforcement and community," she says.
Advocates also believe the bills wording is discriminatory and unconstitutional. Discussion over the bill has sparked civic engagement within the community. Dozens of Latinos filled the House chambers balcony Tuesday night, for many of them it was their first time visiting the state capitol.
"Lawmakers don`t think they we are going to do anything about it but you need to understand that we come from governments that are very corrupt, we come from countries with a lot of poverty. We are used to fighting," says Latino advocate and Que Pasa Iowa co - founder, Claudia Thrane. "I`m not saying open boarders but I`m saying there needs to be immigration reform. There has to be a different way, a better way, a more compassionate way."