West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry successfully led a multi-state coalition in defending the right of individual states to prohibit sanctuary cities within their borders.

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday at state laws that require local authorities to comply and cooperate with federal immigration enforcement and are likely to survive legal challenges under the U.S. Constitution.

The unanimous decision was a major victory against sanctuary cities and localities, which prohibit or otherwise obstruct cooperation between federal and local officials on immigration enforcement.

“This is a major victory that strengthens the ability of states to ensure law and order,” Attorney General Morrisey said.  “Sanctuary cities defy the rule of law and deprive law enforcement of the tools necessary for effective civil and criminal enforcement.   Such disregard is an affront to public safety.”

Prohibiting sanctuary cities helps uphold federal immigration laws and provides 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 her citizens.   For example, Eastern Panhandle officials have noted an influx of drugs from Baltimore, which has adopted sanctuary policies.

Tuesday’s decision, in large part, agrees with the West Virginia – and Louisiana – led coalition in that it eliminates most of a lower court injunction that sought to block a sanctuary city ban from taking effect in Texas.

The Texas law requires lcoal 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.

Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina were members of the West Virginia – and Louisiana – led coalition.