LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After a lengthy discussion, Metro Council passed a measure Thursday night that keeps city workers from asking about someone's immigration status.

The ordinance, which passed with a 16-7 vote, keeps local law enforcement separate from enforcing federal immigration law. The policy extends to all metro government employees.

Some council members said many local immigrants are afraid to call 911 out of fear of being deported. Some called this a basic civil rights issue, but others had questions about federal law and were concerned that this policy goes against it.

There were also concerns about added costs of emergency services. 

"I think it's just totally wrong to compare whatever marginal costs of service provisions there might be from an X number of people calling 911 to a $30 million soccer stadium or a $20 million police headquarters," councilman Brandon Coan said. "That's not even the same universe of reality. "

Sponsors of the policy say it does not break federal law and that the police department already supports it with its own policy that mirrors this one. 

Council members said this does not keep police from investigating criminal activity or from communicating with ICE.

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