AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Republican governor has sent a letter to county sheriffs directing them to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

Gov. Paul LePage in the Tuesday letter said Maine law requires sheriffs to obey his law enforcement orders. He threatened to remove sheriffs who don’t comply with federal detention requests to hold individuals up to 48 hours.

paullepage1 Maine Gov. LePage Threatens To Fire Sheriffs Who Dont Follow ICE Requests

Maine Governor Paul LePage. (WBZ-TV)

LePage hasn’t named sheriffs he would target. Maine’s constitution says a governor can remove a sheriff following a “complaint, due notice and hearing.”

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce has said he would reject requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to hold prisoners in jail beyond their scheduled release.

Massachusetts’ highest court in July ruled state law doesn’t allow police officers to hold individuals solely on the basis of a federal immigration detainer request.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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