Appeals court backs Texas, Trump in sanctuary city fight  

From The Washington Times:

States have the power to punish sanctuary cities within their borders and to force local police and sheriff’s departments to cooperate in turning illegal immigrants over to the federal government for deportation, an appeals court ruled Tuesday in upholding a Texas law.

The 3-0 decision by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marks a major victory for President Trump, who has demanded sanctuary cities be punished for thwarting the federal government and protecting illegal immigrants.

The judges didn’t go that far, but they did say the federal government’s “detainer” requests, which ask local governments to hold illegal immigrants for pickup, are legal. Localities can refuse based on their own resources, the court ruled — but the detainer requests are legal, the judges said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the ruling.

“Law is in effect,” he said on Twitter.

Known as SB4, the law Mr. Abbott signed last year requires police to determine the legal status of those they encounter during their duties.

The law also punished local elected officials, police chiefs and other law enforcement leaders who enacted or carried out sanctuary policies that refused cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The law explicitly said local jurisdictions should comply with detainer requests.

Immigrant-rights advocates and a number of Texas cities had objected. They said detainers forced state or local police to hold illegal immigrants beyond their usual release time, infringing on their Fourth Amendment rights.

But Judge Edith H. Jones, writing the court’s opinion, said it’s not clear illegal immigrants are covered by the Fourth Amendment. But even beyond that, she said, federal detainer requests are legitimate.

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