Sheriffs, Gov. LePage working together to solve issues with ICE

Sheriffs sit down with Gov. LePage

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Governor LePage summoned all 16 county sheriffs to a closed door meeting with him to resolve issues surrounding ICE agent's requests, Monday afternoon in Augusta.

The meeting comes almost a month after two sheriffs said they would not comply with orders from immigrations and customs enforcement agents to hold a person longer than warranted. Governor LePage then threatened to fire any sheriff who didn't comply with those orders. 

Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant said the meeting was very productive and he's pleased everyone is now on the same page. "We want this to be worked through properly and it will be worked through properly," Sheriff Gallant said. "We’re going to be patient we’re going to work through this and we’re going to get the best result we can get."

Gallant says they have had multiple meetings with ICE agents over the last few weeks and that they seem to have found a solution. A lot of the concern surrounded probable cause for holding the detainees without a warrant. Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce and York County Sheriff Bill King both felt doing so was a violation of their constitutional rights and feared it could lead to potential lawsuits.

Gallant says most of the problems came with the paperwork but they have now found a solution that works for everyone. "We have a new format that we will use that can establish probable cause and helps meet our needs in the county jails to accept somebody there." Sheriff Gallant said. 

Governor LePage was also happy about the meeting -- he says he knew that ICE would be willing to work with the Sheriffs and blamed the media for the divide.

"ICE is more than willing to work with them, we are more than willing to work with them," Governor LePage said. "If they're pleading to their base that's their problem, and you guys make it worse, you guys are the most horrific organization on the face of the earth."

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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