If the San Francisco sheriff's plan becomes reality, illegal immigrants arrested for petty crimes won't be held in jail longer than necessary, even if federal immigration agents may want them detained for possible deportation.
Instead, starting Wednesday, deputies will treat those eligible for release just like U.S. citizens: They will be cited to appear in court.
City officials, however, aren't so sure about Sheriff Mike Hennessey's plan.
The new policy is his attempt to comply with a city law that prevents police from aiding federal authorities in non-felony crimes and a U.S. law that requires authorities to share fingerprints with immigration agents.
ICE Spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Hennessey's decision is "unfortunate."