The House passed a bill on Friday that would give green cards to foreign graduates of American universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
The bill — which would give up to 55,000 green cards to graduates with master and doctoral degrees in the STEM field — is not likely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate where New York Senator Charles Schumer is working on a comprehensive immigration bill.
Democrats criticized the bill because it eliminates the diversity visa lottery, a program that gives 55,000 green cards each year to people that are randomly selected among entries from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S.
New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a long-time supporter of STEM immigration reform, backed the passing of the bill.
“This bill will hopefully begin a renewed focus on the need to overhaul an immigration system formed in the age of the typewriter and modernize it for a digital age,” he said in a statement.