Senate Judiciary panel approves Hatch-Schumer compromise on H-1B visas

The proposed changes had originally faced pushback from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a member of the Gang of Eight and longtime critic of the H-1B program. Last week, Durbin said Hatch's amendments would soften protections in the bill that would require employers to recruit American workers first before looking overseas.

Durbin voted in favor of Hatch's amendment on Tuesday. He told Hatch that the compromise represents how important his support is to the Group of Eight.

"Senator Hatch, a number of us, myself included, have really leaned a long way in your direction to get your support for immigration reform. We hope that this is a good faith effort on both of our parts to bring support for this bill to pass," Durbin said. "We made concessions I never thought we'd have to make…but we made those concessions to win your support. We need your support. We want to pass this bill."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Gang of Eight, hailed the amendment as "the best compromise we could have achieved" on H-1B visas. He said the requirements that employers would have to follow when hiring foreign workers on an H-1B visa in the current version of the bill "went too far."

"We went overboard," Graham said.