By Kyla Asbury | Mar 22, 2018

CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a coalition of 13 states in opposition of sanctuary city policies, defending the right of individual states to prohibit such jurisdictions within their borders.

Sanctuary cities and localities prohibit or otherwise obstruct cooperation between federal and local officials on immigration enforcement

“As attorney general, I work to ensure law and order,” Morrisey said in a press release. “Sanctuary cities are detrimental to public safety, and by their very nature, defy the rule of law and deprive law enforcement of the tools necessary for effective civil and criminal enforcement.”

Prohibiting sanctuary cities helps to uphold federal immigration laws and provide law enforcement with additional and necessary tools to identify drug offenders who unlawfully enter the country.

Sanctuary jurisdictions, especially in states bordering West Virginia, could have a detrimental effect on West Virginia and its citizens.

For example, Eastern Panhandle officials have noted an influx of drugs from Baltimore, which has adopted sanctuary policies, according to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office.

The coalition’s brief, which was filed March 16, follows on the heels of a recent West Virginia- and Louisiana-led victory when a federal appeals court ruled state laws that require local authorities to comply and cooperate with federal immigration enforcement are likely to survive legal challenges under the U.S. Constitution.

Friday’s brief supports Indiana’s right to defend its state law, which requires county sheriff offices to cooperate with federal immigration detainer requests. It argues a federal appeals court should overturn a lower court ruling that denied the state’s ability to be heard.

The coalition argues state laws directing state and local officials to comply with federal immigration detainer requests are not preempted and do not violate the Fourth Amendment.

West Virginia joined the Texas-led brief with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina

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