Senators agree to expansion of high-tech visas

DAVID ESPO and ERICA WERNER
May 21, 2013
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, confers with the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2013, as the committee assembles to work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions. The panel is aiming to pass the legislation out of committee this week, setting up a high-stakes debate on the Senate floor.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, confers with the committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2013, as the committee assembles to work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions. The panel is aiming to pass the legislation out of committee this week, setting up a high-stakes debate on the Senate floor. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say leading senators trying to resolve a key issue on immigration legislation have agreed to a compromise covering expansion of a high-tech visa program.

The deal represents a compromise between the high-tech industry, which relies increasingly on skilled foreign workers, and organized labor, which represents American workers.

The agreement was negotiated by Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and clears away one of the two major hurdles remaining as the Senate Judiciary Committee tries to complete work by tomorrow on the sweeping legislation.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly ahead of any official announcement.