Sponsor pulls transport of illegal immigrants bill

Friday, February 3, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 5

NASHVILLE (AP) - The sponsor of a bill that would make it a felony to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant has withdrawn the measure from consideration.

The bill had been scheduled for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Immigrants' rights activists claimed victory for the change. A news release from the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition said members and supporters had asked their legislators to oppose the measure.

Bill sponsor Rep. Tony Shipley said their actions had nothing to do with his decision.

The Kingsport Republican said his main concern was to prevent human trafficking, and other bills that have been introduced this session already address that issue.

Shipley's bill mirrors portions of a controversial Alabama law that is the subject of several lawsuits.