The House has passed legislation to give foreign-born youngsters brought to the U.S. illegally a shot at legal status.
The vote Wednesday night was 216-198 to approve the so-called Dream Act.
In the Senate, however, Democrats are unlikely to muster the 60 votes needed to advance the bill past opposition from the GOP and a handful in their own party who view it as amnesty. A Senate vote is expected Thursday.
The bill is aimed at hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. before the age of 16, who have been in the country for five years and graduated from high school or gained an equivalency degree. They would have a chance to gain legal status if they joined the military or attended college.