Utah Lawmakers Ease Immigration Bill Provisions Ahead of Debate

Utah lawmakers are reworking an immigration bill to make parts of it more agreeable to the business and religious communities, according to reports.

The debate on Senate Bill 81 has been pushed back to Thursday while some provisions are made more lenient, such as one that would hold churches liable for providing humanitarian services to illegal immigrants, including food and clothing.

The changes were prompted in part by requests from several church leaders, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Bill Hickman of St. George, says it's a matter of making the measure a better deal for affected industries. He has met with business and religious leaders and says they approve of planned changes to the bill.

Initially, the immigration bill had been designed to be modeled after that of Oklahoma, described as one of the toughest in the nation.

Click here to read more from the Salt Lake Tribune.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.