The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 3/9/8

The leadership team of House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, surprised many last week by passing what was described as “the marquee” piece of Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant’s anti-illegal immigration legislation.

Not only did the House pass the legislation, it did so with calculated speed, approving it in committee one morning and on the floor that afternoon.

Byrant campaigned last year for the office of lieutenant governor by promising to get tough on illegal immigration. The Republican praised the Democratic House leaders for passing the Senate bill.

Up until nearly the time the legislation was taken up, many had questioned whether the House would tackle the issue. House leaders had killed in committee most of the illegal immigration legislation introduced by House members earlier in the process.

“I was afraid we were not going to address the issue,” admitted Rep. Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville.