Passion in US lower house immigration debate
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US lawmakers debated plans on Tuesday to build a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants who remade their lives in America but found themselves at the heart of a fierce debate.
President Barack Obama and a group of Republican and Democratic senators have submitted plans for reform, but as the House of Representatives took up the issue, there were signs the bipartisan facade is coming under strain.
While from the Democratic side of the aisle, a rising Hispanic-American political star made an impassioned plea for to fix a broken system, more senior Republicans warned against pushing too fast for change.
"Immigration is more than a political issue. It's who we are," said Mr Julian Castro, the charismatic young mayor of San Antonio, Texas who had a star turn last year on the stage of the Democratic National Convention. "Immigrants have made ours the greatest country in the world," he told a packed House Judiciary Committee hearing. "Doing nothing is not an option."