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Department of Justice Backs Texas' Controversial Law Banning Sanctuary Cities

The Department of Justice issued a statement on Friday backing Texas in a controversial case over a state law that has been described as a ban on sanctuary cities.

The law, known as Senate Bill 4, which is set to take effect in September, would allow police officers to inquire about immigration status at routine stops and introduces sanctions for law enforcement officials who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

After SB-4 was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in early May, several Texas cities, including the state's four largest, filed a lawsuit against the governor and the state Attorney General Ken Paxton, claiming the new law is unconstitutional.

"The Department of Justice fully supports Texas's effort and is participating in this lawsuit because of the strong federal interest in facilitating the state and local cooperation that is critical in enforcing our nation's immigration laws," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

However, decades of research have shown that, when local law enforcement gets involved in immigration issues, it actually makes communities less safe.