The LAPD will soon stop honoring federal requests to detain illegal immigrants for deportation if they are only accused of low-level crimes, under a new plan approved by the Los Angeles Police Commission today. The plan should kick in early next month, the LA Times reports. Commissioner John Mack called the new policy an "enlightened first step," but immigrants rights groups are opposed to it, arguing that it doesn't go far enough to protect illegal immigrants.
Police departments usually send fingerprints on every person arrested to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which will then ask police to detain the suspect if they may be in the country illegally. Under the new plan, the LAPD will stop honoring those detainer requests unless the suspect is accused of a felony or ICE can articulate some special circumstance necessitating detention. (Read more illegal immigration stories.)