Three years after Sarah Root's death, a renewed push for Sarah's Law

Published: Jan. 31, 2019 at 6:54 PM CST
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Three years after Sarah Root died in a metro traffic accident, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst has launched a new push to shepherd Sarah’s Law through congress.

It was a case that


The drunk driver who hit Sarah was in the country illegally. Eswin Mejia was street racing when he

. Mejia



That was three years ago, Thursday.

On the day marking that tragedy,


“It is very important that others who go through tragedies like this actually see justice,” she said, “and

has not seen justice."

Sen. Ernst's bill would require

of someone in the country illegally and charged with a crime that results in death or a serious injury.

"We shouldn't need a law that states you need to detain somebody that has killed somebody," said

, after


The measure

, then stalled.

"We have had issues getting this through in the past, but it is very common-sense,” Ernst said.

Vocal opposition to the bill has been hard to come by. The ACLU of Iowa did accuse Republicans of

while renewing the push for Sarah's Law.

Sen. Ernst blames the left and says they've been silent because it deals with illegal immigration. With her new role in the Senate, Ernst is hopeful she can advance it farther this time around.

"I do sit on the Judiciary Committee this congress,” she said, “and so now I have an even more powerful platform to try and correct this wrong."

Sen. Ernst said she's worried the legislation could run into issues with the new House majority but that she hopes it can move forward as the Root family marks


Republican senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa along with Nebraska’s

and Deb Fischer of are all co-sponsoring Sarah's Law.