The U.S. Senate passed a monumental bill to overhaul immigration law on Thursday that higher-education leaders hailed as giving foreign-born graduate students unprecedented access to green cards, a provision that research universities said would help them compete for top talent by giving the students greater certainty of landing jobs after they graduate.
The bipartisan bill, which passed, 68 to 32, with 14 Republicans voting in favor, also would provide a gateway to college for 650,000 young people, known as "dreamers," who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Under the bill, they would be eligible to receive federal student aid and to petition for citizenship five years after graduating from high school and completing some college or military service.
Although the bill, S 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, is viewed as unlikely to pass in the House of Representatives, it is widely considered a win for higher education.
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