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Grand Rapids cops won’t ask people about immigration status

August 25, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Police in Michigan’s second-largest city won’t ask for a person’s immigration status when responding to 911 calls or providing services unless it’s an important part of a criminal investigation.

Grand Rapids announced the policy last week, months after an officer informed federal agents about a man who had been arrested after an incident at a hospital. The Latino man turned out to be a U.S. citizen and war veteran who had post-traumatic stress disorder. He was held in federal detention for three days.

Grand Rapids says officers won’t stop, question or detain someone based on suspicions of immigration status. Police Chief Eric Payne says officers are “dedicated to serving everyone” with respect.

The American Civil Liberties Union praised the announcement. Attorney Miriam Aukerman says immigrants who need help shouldn’t be reluctant to call police.

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