CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry are leading a multistate coalition in reinforcing support for the right of individual states to prohibit sanctuary cities within their borders.

Morrisey says sanctuary jurisdictions are cities and localities that prohibit or otherwise obstruct cooperation between federal and local officials on immigration enforcement. He says they defy the rule of law and deprive law enforcement of the tools necessary for effective civil and criminal enforcement.

“Sanctuary cities are an affront to public safety,” Morrisey said. “It’s crucial that law enforcement and local officials adhere to federal immigration laws. Doing so protects their citizens and those living in nearby states. Public safety is paramount.”

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, Morrisey says Eastern Panhandle officials have noted an influx of drugs from Baltimore, which has adopted sanctuary policies.

This week’s brief seeks to lift a lower court’s attempt to block a sanctuary city ban in Texas from taking effect. Last month, West Virginia and Louisiana led a similar coalition in successfully halting, in part, the injunction they now hope to eliminate altogether.

The Texas 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 another group of 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 the Oct. 5 brief with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina. 

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