Sheriff Fights Broken Immigration SystemSheriff Fights Broken Immigration System

By: The Fogle Law Firm

If only there were more local officials willing to take a stand against the broken immigration system that seems to only be getting crazier under the leadership of our current president Donald Trump. Stand-up local officials like York County Sheriff William King has become a part of that group taking a stand.

A York County jail inmate has an immigration detainer request placed on him after being released from jail by a judge. On Tuesday, Gov. Paul LePage sent a letter to the sheriff’s in Maine’s 16 counties directing them to cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials if they place an immigration detainer on an inmate.

“Under the authority granted to me by law, I am directing you to cooperate with federal immigration officials and follow the provisions of Executive Order 001-2011,” LePage told the sheriffs in a directive.

“Employees and officials of the State of Maine shall cooperate with employees and officials of the federal government on all matters pertinent to immigration, subject only to any limitations imposed by statutory law or by the Constitutions of Maine or the United States,” the order states.

Sheriff King has made a declaration of his own. Says he will not put taxpayers at risk of a costly lawsuit and he will not hold an inmate for possible deportation if he is released from jail by a judge.

Basing his efforts on past lawsuits, King has come to his own conclusion on the matter.

“I think LePage is wrong on this,” he said.

King goes on to compare holding an inmate after he or she has been released as, “tantamount to arresting someone without probable cause.”

“We need probable cause of a crime,” he said, not deportability.”

Sounding like he could have been a top-rated immigration attorney in a past life he goes on to say, “absent legal guidance and absent a command I’m not going to put the taxpayers at risk of a lawsuit.”

He pointed to a number of lawsuits researched by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center such as an Oregon case in which the Federal District Court in Oregon ruled in 2014 that the detainer did not provide sufficient proof (probable cause) to allow the local jail to detain an inmate who should have been released on bail; and another case in which the Central District Court of California found that when a plaintiff was held after being ordered released because of an ICE detainer, that it constituted a warrantless arrest.

“I want to work with the feds, I do. I just don’t see the feds working with us,” he said.

He thinks the immigration office should start deportation proceedings while an inmate is still in custody.

Maine’s governor LePage directive also states that any sheriff who doesn’t comply with his directive will be removed from office. He said he is granted that authority by Article IX, Section 10 of the Maine State Constitution. That section allows the governor to remove and replace a sheriff “Whenever the Governor upon complaint, due notice and hearing shall find that a sheriff is not faithfully or efficiently performing any duty imposed upon the sheriff by law.”

As of now sheriff King is safe from the governor’s threats as a complaint would need to be filed before governor could take action against a sheriff. The Maine Sheriffs Association has hired an attorney to look into the sheriffs’ rights under law.

We have additional beliefs on the matter here at The Fogle Law Firm where founder and principal member Glenn Fogle is among the nation’s top immigration attorneys with a knack for going up amongst the federal government for his clients. But we completely support sheriff King’s bold stand against a directive that speaking honestly should have never been a directive in the first place as it’s abundantly clear our immigration laws need help and restructuring.

As always if you or a loved one has found themselves needing an experienced immigration attorney please don’t hesitate to call us at The Fogle Law Firm where we have a nationwide reach to assist clients all over the country in any immigration related matter.