MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The City of Minneapolis has passed an ordinance protecting immigrants who are crime victims, but may fear deportation by going to the police.

The ordinance passed by the City Council Wednesday would give immigrants protection from deportation if they help prosecute the crime. Police Chief Medaria Arrandondo says it allows the crime to be documented but hits the pause button on any possible deportation.

Officials say it creates a formalized process and timeline for a U visa, which can take nine months to obtain. The U visa is set aside for crime victims who are willing to assist law enforcement.

Gloria Velazquez, from the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, says the ordinance will allow crime victims to come out of the shadows and seek protection.