US & Canada

Nancy Pelosi tells US House immigrant stories for eight hours

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Media captionTop Democratic Nancy Pelosi breaks record in eight-hour speech

US politician Nancy Pelosi is thought to have set a new record for the longest speech ever made in the House of Representatives, after telling the stories of immigrants for eight hours.

Ms Pelosi was advocating on behalf of undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, known as "Dreamers".

She wants them protected as part of a budget deal being agreed this week.

The House minority leader began her speech at 10:04 local time (15:04 GMT) - and did not finish until the evening.

Dreamers were previously protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals scheme - something which was ended by President Donald Trump last year.

"Every day, courageous patriotic Dreamers lose their status, every day the American Dream slips further out of reach," Ms Pelosi told assembled lawmakers.

"As members of Congress, we have a moral responsibility to act now to protect Dreamers who are the pride of our nation and are American in every way but on paper."

She then shared dozens of personal stories from the immigrants facing deportation, effectively halting business in the House of Representatives in protest.

On social media, many users pointed out that Ms Pelosi had not only spoken for many hours, but had done so while consuming only a little water - and wearing four-inch high heels.

Democrat supporters and Ms Pelosi's own party members contributed to a wave of congratulatory tweets using the hashtag #GoNancyGo. Republicans, however, used the same tag to criticise the stunt as a waste of time.

Her dedication to speaking about Daca also led to her speech being called a "Dacabuster" - a play on the filibuster technique sometimes used in the Senate to block or delay legislation by refusing to yield the floor.

The move was not technically a filibuster. The House has different rules from the Senate that limit speaking time to prevent use of the technique.

But as minority leader, Ms Pelosi had the right to speak for as long as she wished.

The historian's office of the House told reporters that the speech was the longest they were aware of without further research - easily beating the five hour, 15 minute known record of Champ Clark set in 1909.

When she concluded her remarks, fellow Democrats present in the chamber applauded and cheered as she took her seat.

The controversy comes as Republican and Senate leaders managed to agree a two-year budget deal which they hope will avoid another government shutdown.

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The US government was left devoid of funding for a weekend as both sides argued over funding for specific measures - including immigration.

The latest deal does not contain specific protections for Dreamers - something which many Democrats like Ms Pelosi are expected to oppose.

Many fiscal conservatives on the Republican side are equally unhappy with the increased spending the new funding deal proposes.

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