WASHINGTON — A key committee in the Republican-led House has taken up a tough enforcement-focused immigration bill, but the proceedings were immediately interrupted by protesters shouting "Shame, shame!"

More than a dozen protesters began chanting as soon as Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia gaveled the committee hearing open Tuesday.

Goodlatte stopped the proceedings until the protesters were ushered into the hall, where their shouts could still be heard.

Goodlatte said the bill under consideration, which empowers local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws and makes visa fraud into a deportable felony, is needed to ensure enforcement of the law.

Democrats called it a dangerous approach.