KIMT News 3 – An immigration bill backed by some of Iowa’s U.S. lawmakers is meant to honor the memory of an Iowa woman who was killed in a car accident last year in the state. The man who hit the SUV she was riding in was in the country illegally.
Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley and Representative Steve King are now hoping to pass Sarah’s Law. It would require U.S. Immigration authorities to take custody of any illegal immigrant charged with a crime resulting in death or serious bodily injury.
The bill is named after 21-year-old Sarah Root from Council Bluffs. The SUV she was riding in was struck by Edwin Mejia, who allegedly entered the country illegally, was drunk and drag racing on the night of the accident in January of 2016.
One attorney says it could be hard to enforce, because those crimes are not usually prosecuted on the federal level.
“Murder is generally a state crime and states can do what they want with a charged criminal,” attorney Joel Yunek says.
The man charged with Sarah’s death was released from jail on bond and has been on the run ever since.