Student loan relief limited for many by US drug war’s legacy

Many have cheered the White House proposal to provide student loan debt relief to millions of Americans as a significant step toward addressing the nation’s racial wealth gap and other inequities facing borrowers of color. President Joe Biden said his plan would address the “especially heavy” debt burden felt among Black and Hispanic borrowers. But Black and Hispanic Americans were disproportionately shut out of access to federal student loan programs due to a “war on drugs” policy that the president supported as a U.S. senator. Criminal justice reform advocates say the president’s solutions to the student debt crisis should be as comprehensive as the anti-drug laws were.