UnidosUS Deplores Short-Sighted Supreme Court Ruling on Student Debt Relief
Congress, Biden Administration Must Act Now to Support Students Who Need Relief
Washington, DC— Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—issued the following statement after today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court:
“We are profoundly disappointed in today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Biden administration’s landmark plan to provide much-needed debt relief to millions of individuals emerging from the pandemic. Today’s decision will affect millions of debt-burdened individuals who have waited in limbo for nearly a year and who face a steep hit when payments resume in October. The plan would have cleared the debt of half of Latino student borrowers, many of whom face mountains of educational debt.
“It has long been true that a college education is an essential first step to allow hard-working young people to more fully contribute to our country’s shared prosperity. Yet high levels of student debt could hamper that economic potential, keeping even the most successful graduates from being able to buy a house, start a family if they wish, or save money for a rainy day. In an August 2022 study released by UnidosUS and Oportun Financial Corporation, a stunning 70% of Latino borrowers with a four-year degree said that student debt was affecting their ability to save for retirement and their decision when and if to buy a house.
“Hispanic students deeply value higher education as a pathway to the middle class, and Latinos are projected to make up 1 in 5 workers by 2030. As the former Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Kansas, I know the transformative power that access to higher education can have. But for students to benefit from the opportunities they have earned through hard work, it must be affordable. Most Latinos at institutions of higher education are the first in their families to go to college, and most of those come from households with lower incomes.
“We call on the administration and Congress to respond to this decision by taking immediate steps to provide meaningful debt relief for lower-income borrowers, including measures to help those who are saddled with debt and still have no college credential. They need relief and they need it now. Debt relief will both benefit students and recharge our nation’s economy.”