(National Sentinel) Immigration: A largely Democrat-appointed three-judge federal appeals panel ruled on Monday that key parts of a Texas law aimed at blocking cities from becoming so-called “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants could take effect, with some quick changes the court ordered.

As reported by the Washington Times, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled 3-0 that localities under the state law were required to hold on to illegal immigrants for pickup by deportation officers.

While saying Texas’ law, known as SB4, was clumsy, the court said changes could be quickly made by the state legislature for most of it to go into effect.

The Times:

The…decision appears to mark the first time a high-level federal appeals court has said states can demand that their localities comply with detainer requests, which are the crux of the sanctuary city issue.

“Enforcing immigration law helps prevent dangerous criminals from being released into Texas communities,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office defended Texas’ law.

The ruling by the three judges - two Democratic appointees and one Republican appointee – is just a temporary victory, however, as it stays parts of an injunction issued by a lower district court. The full appeals court will more arguments on the law later this year.

That said, the ruling represents a rare occasion that Democrat-appointed federal judges ruled in favor of tougher immigration enforcement in the Trump age. It is also a victory for President Trump’s Department of Justice, which was backing Texas in the case.

Texas is one step closer to ending the dangerous sanctuary policies that prevent federal law enforcement from keeping criminal aliens off the streets and keeping Texans safe,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

The Times noted further:

The key part of the ruling prevents localities from blocking their officers and deputies from cooperating with federal immigration authorities who ask for information or help.

More critically for enforcement, localities must comply with “detainer” requests to notify federal officers when a target is being released and to hold them for up to 48 hours beyond the time they would otherwise be set free based on the state or local charges.

Little by little, the Trump administration is chipping away at cities’ illegal sanctuary policies through a combination of Executive Branch authority, statutory law, and federal courts.

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