House approves student immigrant plan

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has approved legislation to offer green cards to foreign students with advanced degrees, but only after a partisan fight that portends trouble when Congress attempts a wholesale immigration overhaul next year.

In approving what is called the STEM Jobs Act on a 245-139 vote, Republicans who control the House were signaling Hispanic voters who abandoned them in the election that they’re serious about fixing the flawed system.

The bill passed Friday would provide 55,000 permanent residency visas to foreign students with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But it drew fire from Democrats because it would kill a program that helps less-trained people from Africa and elsewhere gain entry to this country.

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