US appeals court upholds Texas' ban on 'sanctuary cities'

By PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas - A federal appeals court has upheld the bulk of a Texas law targeting "sanctuary cities" that is backed by the Trump administration as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration.

The ruling Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans allows Texas to enforce what critics call the toughest state-level immigration measure in the country.

The law allows police officers to ask people during routine stops whether they're in the U.S. legally and threatens sheriffs with jail time for not cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the ruling with a statement saying "dangerous criminals shouldn't be allowed back into our communities" to possibly commit more crimes.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement in response to the ruling:

“Senate Bill 4 was a top priority for me because I knew it was essential to protect Texas communities and Texas families. It simply requires that local authorities cooperate with federal immigration officials. Hopefully this ruling will make the law crystal clear for those liberal public officials in some Texas cities who have flaunted their opposition to SB 4 and misrepresented its intent. SB 4 will prevent the release of dangerous criminals into our communities and will make us all safer.”

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