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Appeals court backs Texas, Trump in sanctuary city fight


States have the power to punish sanctuary cities within their borders and to force local police and sheriff’s departments to cooperate in turning over illegal immigrants 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 punishment for sanctuary cities that thwart the federal government to protect 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, a Republican, praised the ruling.

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