The Biden administration is challenging an Iowa law that allows state authorities to arrest and deport illegal immigrants in Iowa who have been deported or denied entry into the country.

In a lawsuit filed on Thursday, the Justice Department in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa requested for Iowa to be blocked from enforcing the law.

According to the DOJ, the law violates the U.S. Constitution. “But Iowa cannot create its own immigration system. Its efforts, through SF 2340, intrude on the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate the entry and removal of noncitizens, frustrate the United States’ immigration operations, and interfere with U.S. foreign relations,” the DOJ argues.

“Iowa cannot disregard the U.S. Constitution and settled Supreme Court precedent. We have brought this action to ensure that Iowa adheres to the framework adopted by Congress and the Constitution for regulation of immigration,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton stated.

The measure being challenged was signed into law last month by Gov. Kim Reynolds who said it was necessary to keep the state safe given the Biden administration’s failure to secure the border.

Under the law which is set to go into effect on July 1, illegal reentry would have a penalty of up to two years in prison and deportation. An illegal immigrant who gets arrested for committing another felony in addition to illegal entry into the country could be guilty of a Class C felony and get up to 10 years in prison.

The state measure also requires Iowa judges to turn in an order for a person convicted of illegal entry into the U.S. to be returned to their home country.

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird has brushed off the lawsuit against the law, promising to defend it.

“When Biden fails to do his job and secure our border, States have to take matters into their own hands. Iowa’s law is not unique; it simply enforces immigration laws while Biden refuses to. Iowa stands ready to defend our immigration law that keeps Iowa communities safe,” she stated.

The Biden administration is also going after a similar law passed in Texas to crack down on illegal immigration. The law, which was set to go into effect in March, has been tied up in court as the Biden administration argues that it is wrong for local enforcement in the state to be authorized to arrest illegal immigrants.