German parliament debates migrant family reunification issue

German lawmakers are debating regulations over migrants' rights to bring close relatives to the country, a topic which has been a major issue of coalition talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Union bloc and the center-left Social Democrats.

The two parties reached a consensus on the issue earlier this week, one which Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere urged parliament Thursday to accept as a fair compromise.

As it stands, close relatives can't join migrants with a status below full asylum but the rule expires in mid-March. The proposed compromise would allow for 1,000 per month in that category to be allowed in, starting in August, plus people considered hardship cases under existing rules.

De Maiziere says "our compromise stands for humanity and accountability, for integration and limitations."