Providers praise Senate passage of immigration reform bill

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The Senate approved a controversial, comprehensive immigration reform bill on Thursday. Certain provisions in the bill could help alleviate workforce shortages in long-term care facilities, according to many nursing home providers.

The bill, S. 2611, would create a guest worker program that would allow foreign essential workers to join the workforce, including positions as certified nursing aides. The bill also would remove restrictions on the number of nurses and physical therapists that could enter the United States under the employment based visa category.

Senators approved the bill 62-36. Compromise talks are expected to be held this summer between the Senate and the House. The latter passed a more conservative measure last year. The House's version does not include the guest worker and nurse provisions.