CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry are leading a multistate coalition supporting the right of individual states to prohibit sanctuary cities within their borders.
These AGs say sanctuary jurisdictions — cities and localities that prohibit or otherwise obstruct cooperation between federal and local officials on immigration enforcement — defy the rule of law and deprive law enforcement of the tools necessary for effective civil and criminal enforcement.
“Sanctuary cities raise an issue of public safety,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Law enforcement and local officials need to comply with federal immigration law to better protect citizens. States should have the right to do all they can to increase safety for their residents.”
Morrisey says prohibiting sanctuary cities helps uphold federal immigration laws and provide law enforcement with additional and necessary tools to identify drug offenders who unlawfully enter the country.
He says sanctuary jurisdictions, especially in states bordering West Virginia, could have a detrimental effect on West Virginia and her citizens. For example, Eastern Panhandle officials have noted an influx of drugs from Baltimore, which has adopted sanctuary policies.
The brief by the AGs seeks to upend an injunction enjoining a sanctuary city ban in Texas from taking effect. The state law requires local entities and officials to not interfere with federal immigration enforcement. It also places certain duties and liabilities on certain persons in the criminal justice system, provides civil penalties and creates a criminal offense for violating those provisions.
In June, West Virginia and Louisiana led 10 states in defending President Trump’s executive order that directs the federal government to take lawful actions to ensure compliance with laws prohibiting sanctuary cities.
West Virginia and Louisiana filed this latest brief with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina.