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Sharp divides over US immigration bill in House of Representatives

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Sharp divides over US immigration bill in House of Representatives

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US lawmakers are split over a landmark bill that could allow 11 million undocumented immigrants to become American citizens.

Approved by the Senate last month, the bill’s passage through the House of Representatives is seen as being much trickier.

The House has not reached consensus on the proposed legislation or what should take its place if it is rejected.

House Republicans, who have the majority, are divided even amongst themselves.

Mo Brooks, Republican Representative for Alabama’s 5th congressional district, told journalists: “I would not agree to citizenship because that is a reward for violation of American law.”

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican Representative for Florida’s 27th District, said: “As we strengthen the borders, which we must, I hope that we can also look at the 11 million who want to legalise their status and contribute in a great way to this country because they’re patriots too.”

Some lawmakers say they think the debate could extend into 2014.