FALLS CITY, Neb. (AP) ó Many Republican leaders are pushing their party to accept a more welcoming U.S. immigration policy, arguing that it will make the GOP more appealing to Hispanic voters whose numbers are growing rapidly.

But that effort is running into resistance from Republican members of Congress from states with very small Hispanic populations.† In those states, mostly in the South and Midwest, the members rely on the support of conservative whites, many of whom oppose granting legal status to those who are living in the country illegally.

In a recent visit home to Nebraska, Sen. Deb Fischer was urged by supporters to hold the line on the U.S. immigration policy. †A Senate committee begins debate today on an overhaul that would give the immigrants a path to citizenship.