Honduran Jose Humberto Castro, 26, clings to a freight train in 2010 as he makes his way to the United States border from Orizaba in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Every day, hundreds of Central Americans try to cross from Mexico to the U.S.
Too often, relentless and divisive posturing passes for reasoned discourse around the issue of immigration and immigrants in the U.S.
One side of the spectrum calls for government roundups and deportations of any U.S. resident who is suspected of being unable to prove American birth or officially sanctioned naturalization.
The other side believes that productive, non-citizen Americans, through their contributions to the country, have earned the right to a path to citizenship.
Somewhere in between are real people fleeing economic, societal and institutional hardships to seek a chance at a better life.
Click through for nine views of the human side of a national debate.
Photo: Eliana Aponte/Reuters