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Senate passes immigration reform bill

By Ray O'Hanlon

Reform backers fell two votes short of the "Magnificent 70," but the margin of victory was nevertheless impressive.

The United States Senate voted 68-32 Thursday for S.744, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

The bill includes a provision that would allow 10,500 renewable E-3 visas for the Irish with no sunset.

Passage of the bill represented a big win for the bipartisan "Gang of Eight," the members of which crafted the measure, and a particular triumph for the bill's lead Democratic sponsor, Senator Charles Schumer who penned the Irish E-3 provision.

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The reform debate now shifts to the far more uncertain ground that is the U.S. House of Representatives.