NEW YORK — The Senate on Thursday approved a bill to allow employers to apply for the first visa to bring in workers from countries including Mexico, Central America and Southeast Asia.
But the House will have to vote on the measure and then on a companion bill before it can become law.
The Senate voted 50-48 Thursday to pass the measure.
It passed the House last week, but only the House has the votes to pass it.
If passed, the bill would open the door to millions of foreign workers to fill the roughly 15 million jobs that have been created since President Donald Trump’s election last year.
Trump has promised to cut the U.S. annual immigration rate to below 100,000, a goal he has since pushed to keep up with rising demand for U.N.-assisted workers in disaster-relief work.
The bill would also give the government more flexibility to import workers from other countries, such as India, which has been overwhelmed by the surge in immigrants.