Sheriff explains why he won't keep detainees longer for ICE officials

York County Sheriff Bill King defended his position against holding people for immigration officials during a forum Wednesday night in Old Orchard Beach.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH (WGME) -- A Maine sheriff opposed to holding people beyond their scheduled release on behalf of federal immigration officials defended his position during an open forum in Old Orchard Beach.

York County Sheriff Bill King is one of two sheriffs unwilling to detain people, a position Gov. Paul LePage has threatened to fire county sheriffs for if they do not comply with requests made by immigration officials.

King's position prompted opposition on Facebook, leading to the lightly attended forum at the Old Orchard Beach Town Hall. But one resident who strongly disagrees with the sheriff said his opinion has changed upon further review.

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce was the first to voice his opposition, and King quickly joined him. In a radio interview last month, LePage issued his threat to fire county sheriffs.

King said the forum helped him be transparent in explaining his position, noting sheriffs he has spoken to say holding someone beyond their release date could lead to lawsuits and a hefty bill.

"They paid $27,000 for a 19 hour detainment," he said.

One resident against King said he sees how the issue could see from another point of view.

"I don't see that Sheriff Joyce or Sheriff King are making this a political issue it's just a matter of they're seeing it different from the way governor is seeing it," the resident said.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off