Child grills US first lady

WASHINGTON - First lady Michelle Obama fielded an unexpected question on US immigration policy during a visit to an elementary school on Wednesday, when a little girl asked what was in store for her mother as an illegal immigrant.

WASHINGTON - First lady Michelle Obama fielded an unexpected question on US immigration policy during a visit to an elementary school on Wednesday, when a little girl asked what was in store for her mother as an illegal immigrant.

The awkward moment came as Presidents Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon of Mexico were meeting at the White House and first ladies Michelle Obama and Margarita Zavala were visiting an elementary school in Silver Spring, a Washington suburb in Maryland.

During a question-and-answer meeting with students, a shy little girl raised her hand and said: "My mom says that Barack Obama is taking everybody away that doesn't have papers.

"We have to work on to make sure that people can be here with the right kind of papers," answered the US first lady.

"But my mom doesn't have any papers," the girl added.

"But we have to work on that, in that everybody's got to work together in Congress to make sure that happens."

What to do with an estimated 12million illegal immigrants in the US is a hot-button issue on both sides of the US-Mexican border. Calderon began his visit on Wednesday calling a tough, new immigration law in Arizona a form of "discrimination".

Obama later agreed that "the Arizona law has the potential of being applied in a discriminatory fashion". - Sapa-AFP

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