In August, President Joe Biden announced that his administration would be implementing a one-time student loan debt relief program for Americans with student loan debt. Since the announcement, the administration has posted guidance on the Department of Education’s website that explains the plan in detail and attempts to answer some FAQs. The website outlining the plan states that $10,000 worth of debt would be forgiven for Americans making less than $125,000 a year who have outstanding federal student loans. For those who received Pell Grants to pay for college, up to $20,000 worth of student loan debt would be forgiven. The website states that “the Administration will launch a simple application in October” that must be completed by the end of the year to determine whether borrowers qualify for debt forgiveness. That application is now available on the Federal Student Aid website.
This past January, the American Red Cross announced that the United States was facing its worst blood shortage in over a decade, posing a significant risk to patient care and causing doctors to make difficult decisions in determining which patients should be prioritized for blood transfusions given the dwindling supply. The staggering decrease in blood and platelet donations can be attributed to the global COVID-19 pandemic driving up the need for donations and the hesitancy people have had to leave their homes over the past two years. Even in this desperate time of need for blood, gay and bisexual men in America are still prevented from donating because of discrimination.
Russia has recently been assembling their troops along their shared border with Ukraine in what is seemingly amounting to a planned invasion of the country. While Ukraine is warning that Russia is attempting to destabilize and invade the country, Russia denies any potential plans to attack and insists that NATO support for Ukraine is a threat on Russia’s border. As the world watches in suspense, the United States and other NATO members are at a crossroads as to whether Ukraine may join the pact.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed new regulations regarding DACA and is accepting comments on the proposed rule. USCIS claims that the new regulations will preserve and fortify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy. As well as respond to President Biden’s memorandum from January 20, 2021, where Biden states in support of DACA, that “these immigrants (DACA recipients) should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns, and that work authorization will enable them to support themselves, and contribute to our economy, while they remain(in the U.S.)” USCIS further claims that DACA has been economically and socially beneficial to undocumented communities. It reiterates their “consistent judgment” that DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal citing Secretary Napolitano’s 2012 memorandum that DACA recipients lacked the intent to violate the law as children. Further, “removing productive young people (unless justified)” is not a prudent way to spend border resources. The agency continues to provide that the proposed regulation does not provide lawful status or path to citizenship. Despite the use of language that speciously centers on DACA recipients, the proposed provisions are at best superficial and continue to leave undocumented young people in a state of uncertainty.