Immigration

House Votes to Support Foreign STEM Student Bill

Would make green cards more available to visitors studying math, science

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Testing the waters of what is expected to be a turbulent battle over immigration policy next year, the House voted Friday to make green cards accessible to foreign students graduating with advanced science and math degrees from U.S. universities.

But even this limited step, strongly backed by the high-tech industry and enjoying some bipartisan support, is unlikely to go anywhere this session of Congress, dramatizing how difficult it will be to find lasting solutions to the nation's much-maligned immigration system.

A more sweeping bill presumably would deal not only with legal residents but also the estimated 11 million people here illegally.