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    Rutledge: Fifth Circuit Should Validate Laws Banning Sanctuary Cities


    September 21, 2017

    Says, ‘Sanctuary jurisdictions violate the rule of law and place law-abiding citizens in danger’

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined a coalition of eight state attorneys general to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, supporting the right of individual states to prohibit sanctuary cities within their borders.

    This week’s brief calls on the 5th Circuit to lift 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.

    “Sanctuary jurisdictions violate the rule of law and place law-abiding citizens in danger,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “States have the authority to prohibit such policies from existing in local municipalities and the 5th Circuit should lift this injunction.”

    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.

    The attorneys general believe that prohibiting sanctuary cities helps uphold immigration laws and provides federal, state and local law enforcement with additional and necessary tools to identify drug offenders who unlawfully enter the country while at the same time reducing the danger these cites pose to neighboring states, even those that have no sanctuary jurisdictions.

    In June, Rutledge joined a 10-state coalition in defense of President Donald J. Trump’s executive order regarding the prohibition of sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants.

    Led by the West Virginia and Louisiana attorneys general, Rutledge is joined on this brief by her colleagues in Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

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