Sheriffs & Gov. Meet About Federal Immigration Enforcement Cooperation; LePage Lashes Out at Media

Oct 17, 2017

All sixteen Maine sheriffs met privately with Gov. Paul LePage Monday to discuss his concerns about sheriffs not cooperating with ICE, federal immigration and customs enforcement.

A few weeks ago, Governor LePage wrote the sheriffs saying if they did not cooperate with ICE in holding persons in custody, he would take steps to remove them from office. The sheriffs were concerned ICE was not getting a judicial determination of probable cause to hold the person, and some courts have ruled that unconstitutional, allowing lawsuits against sheriffs in other states. Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant is president of the sheriff’s association and says all are happy with the solution.

“ICE has worked around,” Gallant says. “We have a new form that they are going to be using that can establish probable cause that helps meet our needs at the county jails to accept somebody there that meets the probable cause standard.”

A few minutes later the Governor agreed with Gallant that all the sheriffs support the new procedure and then went on to blame the news media for making something out of nothing.

“We cleared up a lot of misunderstandings today and we are just going to move forward,” Gallant says. “Any changes that need to be made we are going to work with the Governor’s office, with ICE officials.”

“I think they all were, I think they…frankly I think you made something out of nothing, all of you,” LePage says. “We are more than willing to work with them and if they are 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. Thank you very much.”

This story was originally published Oct. 16, 2017 at 6:29 p.m. ET.