Marshalltown Community Gathers to Support Immigrants

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa  --  Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement held a teach-out called Keeping ICE Out of Iowa: Deportation Defense Discussion in Marshalltown on Tuesday.

Marshalltown's population is 20% percent Latino, and the goal of the meeting was to teach that community about their rights, protest President Trump's "zero tolerance" initiative, and speak out against Senate File 481, which passed last legislative session. The bill requires all local law enforcement agencies to act as ICE agents and comply with detainer requests. These allow a sheriff to hold a suspected illegal immigrant for 48 hours after a scheduled release.

Prescila Martinez is a immigration rights advocate from Texas, and she said this is unconstitutional.

"With detaining family members, our goals with immigrant rights is to decriminalize. We don't need that many people in jail, especially those who are not violent criminals," she said.

As it stands now, the law goes into effect on July 1st, 2018. Supporters say it keeps the community safe while upholding the law.

Marshalltown resident Mike Fitz disagrees.

"I think it's disgusting and un-American. If I wanted to live in Nazi Germany, I would go back 70 years and live there," he said.

House Republican Steven Holtz backed the bill. Channel 13 reached out to him for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publication.

A similar CCI event will be held in Des Moines on Thursday. Click here for more information.