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A section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Sunland Park, New Mexico, is seen in 2019. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Democrats got a hopeful sign from the Senate rules referee Tuesday in their effort to include provisions for undocumented immigrants in the $1.75 trillion "human" infrastructure bill they hope to pass through the partisan reconciliation process.

Driving the news: The Senate parliamentarian met with Democratic staff about the immigration provisions and did not rule out their inclusion in President Biden's Build Back Better agenda, sources familiar with the meeting told Axios.

  • The provisions in question would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to apply for work permits, permission to travel and to receive temporary protection from deportation.
  • The official ruling is expected in the coming weeks, although no date is yet set, the sources said.

Why it matters: Democrats have promised to pursue immigration reform through the legislation that's also focused on expanding the social safety net and addressing climate change.

  • Their two previous proposals were turned away by the Senate parliamentarian.
  • Two people familiar with discussions described the outcome of Tuesday's meeting as a positive sign.
  • The Senate Parliamentarian did not accept, reject or recommend changes to the proposal — only moving it along to a formal test of budgetary effects in which both parties will be able to make their case to the parliamentarian.

Flashback: The two previous plans rejected by the Senate parliamentarian offered legal permanent residency.

Plan A — A proposal to provided as many as 8 million undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship was rejected in an official “Byrd Bath," a vet to see if it has a budgetary effect and, therefore, can be included in a reconciliation bill.

Plan B — A move to update an outdated immigration registry to provide green cards for some undocumented immigrants was rejected during another review.

  • The parliamentarian later called it a “weighty policy change” not budgetary in nature.

Go deeper

Advocates use defense bill to expand military protections for women

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

While debate over this year's defense bill is dominated by topics like China, Afghanistan and a president's authority to declare war, a quieter experiment is also playing: Advocates are using the legislation to test expansions of protections for women in the military.

Why it matters: The Senate resumed consideration the National Defense Authorization Act this week. Democrats and Republicans continue to squabble over key amendments to the bill, threatening to delay the must-pass legislation.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 4 years in prison

An anti-coup protest in Yangon, Myanmar.Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images

A Myanmar court sentenced the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Monday to four years in prison on charges of "inciting public unrest" and breaking COVID-19 protocols, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's the first of several verdicts that could result in the 76-year-old Nobel laureate being imprisoned for the rest of her life. The 11 charges she faces have been widely criticised as politically motivated.

5 hours ago - World

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"

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