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Judge won't give Texas 'sanctuary city' ban early blessing

Sanctuary cities (Credit: MGN Online)

A federal judge has thrown out Texas' efforts to have a new "sanctuary cities" ban declared constitutional before the law takes effect in September.

The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin is a victory for Texas' largest cities that are suing to block the immigration crackdown signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

The law lets police officers ask people during routine stops whether they're legally in the U.S.

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton made the unusual move of asking Sparks to preemptively rule in the law's favor. But the judge dismissed that request.

The fate of the law now likely rests with a separate San Antonio court that's deciding whether or not to block the measure. That ruling is expected in the coming weeks.

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