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Federal appeals court upholds Texas’ crackdown on 'sanctuary cities'

Protesters marching in the streets outside the Texas State Capital on 'A Day Without Immigrants' last year. Photo: Drew Anthony Smith / Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the majority of Texas' immigration enforcement law that imposed a crackdown on 'sanctuary cities' in the state. The statute gives law enforcement the ability to ask someone during a routine stop whether or not they are in the U.S. legally.

Why it matters: This is a major victory for Texas Republicans and the Trump administration which has been waging an aggressive fight against sanctuary cities. The Justice Department last week sued California over it's sanctuary law, alleging "obstruction of federal immigration enforcement."

The details: The Texas law, which is said to be one of the country’s toughest state-issued immigration policy, threatens officers with fines and jail time if they do not abide by immigration officials. It also prohibits cities and counties from adopting policies that limit immigration enforcement.

  • But, the court overturned the provision that imposes civil penalties for local officials who “endorse a policy under which the entity or department prohibits or materially limits the enforcement of immigration laws.” It said the "endorse" language could violate the First Amendment.

What they're saying:

  • Gov. Greg Abbott (R) lauded the ruling on Twitter, saying "Texas Ban on Sanctuary City Policies upheld by Federal Court of Appeals. Allegations of discrimination were rejected. Law is in effect."
  • Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas that represents some of the plaintiffs, said in a statement the group is "exploring all legal options going forward."
Axios 33 mins ago
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John Dowd resigns as Trump's personal lawyer

Photo: Kevin Dietsch, Pool / Getty Images

President Trump's personal lawyer John Dowd has resigned as the head of the president's legal team for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, per the NYT. A White House official confirmed the report to Axios.

The backdrop: Dowd spent last weekend personally attacking Mueller — going so far as to encourage an end to his investigation. He later told Axios' Mike Allen that his statement was "nothing against Bob," adding, "On St. Patrick's Day, can't an old Marine make a prayer? No big deal." After the news broke of his resignation, Dowd told NBC's Kristin Welker, "I love the president and wish him very well."

Ben Geman 1 hour ago
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Global carbon emissions are on their way back up

Chinese coal-fired plant from 2015 with lots of emissions. The country has made efforts to lower its emissions since then
Smoke billows from a coal-fired generator at a steel factory in Hebei, China, in 2015. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

A new International Energy Agency report finds that worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from energy — which are the lion's share of global emissions — ticked upward by 1.4% in 2017 after a three-year plateau.

Why it matters: The findings underscore the immense challenge of reigning in heat-trapping emissions in an increasingly energy-hungry world. Carbon dioxide output is on pace to eventually bring about global warming levels that blow past the targets of the Paris climate agreement.