APLU Urges Congress to Finish FY2023 Appropriations
APLU President Mark Becker sent a letter to congressional and appropriations committee leadership urging Congress to complete the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations process with strong funding for higher education and research programs. Last week, President Biden signed a stopgap funding bill that funds the government at FY2022 levels through December 16.
In the letter, President Becker notes the harm and missed opportunity if Congress passes another continuing resolution (CR). The letter notes that CRs do not provide the necessary direction to prioritize investments that advance social mobility, enhance global competitiveness, and grow the economy. Dr. Becker also highlights that a CR leaves unfinished the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, which sets a new vision for science and technology leadership and funding.
USCIS Extends Validity of Green Cards
Effective September 26, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS) is automatically extending the validity of permanent residency, also known as Green Cards, to 24 months for those who file Form I-90. Previous renewals only provided a 12-month extension. USCIS announced the extension is expected to help applicants experiencing longer processing times.
APLU and AAU Send Letter to OMB on FY24 Budget Request
APLU and the Association of American Universities sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young urging the administration to increase scientific research and higher education investments in the administration’s FY24 budget request.
The letter urges the administration to fulfill the promises of the CHIPS and Science Act by requesting funding to bolster America’s status as the global leader in scientific research and innovation and for further investments in the Pell grant program, among other core priorities. The letter also calls on the administration to continue working with Congress to complete FY23 appropriations.
White House Begins CHIPS and Science Act Implementation
The White House announced two actions to implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act in late September. In a blog post, the administration unveiled CHIPS.gov to serve as a clearinghouse for CHIPS program initiatives, including the CHIPS for America implementation strategy. The White House also announced the six-person leadership team of its CHIPS for America office, which will oversee the implementation of the $50 billion CHIPS and Science Act fund.
Updates on Biden Administration Student Debt Relief Plan
Last week, the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan faced a number of new lawsuits challenging the policy. Despite ongoing legal challenges, the Department of Education is proceeding with its plan to begin implementing the policy early this month. The Congressional Budget Office found the relief plan would cost an estimated $400 billion.
House Passes Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act, To Become Law
The House of Representatives passed the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act (S.1098). The legislation will allow two borrowers who previously received a joint consolidation loan for their federal student loan debt to separate it back into two individual loans. The goal of the legislation is to help borrowers trapped in spousal loans and facing domestic abuse separate their finances and debt. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent earlier this summer, and heads to the president for his signature.
DHS Announces Extension of Temporary Protected Status for Burma
On September 26, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a notice in the Federal Register extending and redesignating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Burma for 18 months. The extension will allow existing TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through May 25, 2024 and the redesignation would allow additional Burmese nationals to apply for TPS for the first time. If granted TPS, individuals are permitted a temporary stay of deportation and temporary authorization to work in the United States. Under TPS, individuals are eligible for advance parole, allowing them to travel abroad and return to the United States, though this must be applied for separately.