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Migrant Crisis, Study On Gay And Bisexual Men Giving Blood, And A Family Marijuana Business

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A first group of Haitian migrants arrives in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, September 19, 2021, after being deported by the Biden administration. They were among nearly 15,000 migrants, many of them Haitians, who flocked to the Del Rio, Texas, border hoping to get into the United States. Haiti has been told thousands more will be returned in the coming days.

Thousands of migrants are at the U.S.-Mexico border are seeking refuge. A new study to remove the restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood. And a former military and law enforcement family in the medical marijuana industry.

On this Tuesday, Sept. 21, edition of Sundial

Migrant Crisis at U.S. Mexico Border

Thousands of migrants are currently attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. These include people from Central America, South America, Cuba, and Haiti. More than 10,000 migrants are currently living under a bridge in Del Rio, a southern border town in Texas.

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Washington Post reporter Arelis Hernandez has been reporting from the border over the past several days and has spoken with a number of migrants about their perilous travels to the U.S.

In Del Rio, you’re able to see the huge conglomeration of federal and state officials and their vehicles trying to get a handle and provide some security in the situation, Hernandez said.

Hernandez explained there are several cities across Mexico that are dealing with similar numbers of border migrants. Del Rio may have the largest concentration in the United States, and it’s believed that’s due to the location of a nearby immigration-processing center.

We spoke with Hernandez and Texas Public Radio reporter Joey Palacios about the push for many of these migrants to make it to Miami.

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Study On Gay And Bisexual Men Donating Blood

A new study known as ADVANCE is challenging the FDA’s longstanding policy prohibiting gay and bisexual men who’ve been sexually active from donating their blood.

Blood donation inventory has reached dangerous lows and the federal government is trying to broaden the donor pool. Since the early days of the AIDS crisis, they have either been banned or been asked to be celibate for a period of time in order to donate blood.

“Blood centers have been behind in seeing if the policy can be changed. That’s why the ADVANCE study is so important, it’s a pivotal moment and an opportunity for gay and bisexual man to be able to participate in a very groundbreaking study,” said Susan Forbes, a spokeswoman for OneBlood — a Florida-based blood donation center leading the study.

Forbes was working for OneBlood in Orlando during the weekend of the Pulse Nightclub massacre. She said it was “gut-wrenching” to see lines of gay and bisexual men seeking to donate blood in the aftermath of the tragedy and being turned away due to federal guidelines.

Miami New Times Reporter Michael Majchrowicz also joined the conversation.

OneBlood is accepting participants for the study through March of next year, you can find more information on how to sign up here.

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Former Police and Military Family Now Growing Marijuana

Florida’s medical marijuana market has more than doubled in the past two years. There are nearly 600,000 registered patients now. By state law, medical marijuana growers are required to handle all aspects of the business, from seed to sale.

One of those growers is a family business with roots in law enforcement — and the military. Sundial senior producer Chris Remington tells us about why they got into the marijuana business and how they’re trying to compete with bigger growers.

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Chris knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.