Joe Biden has given his new tenure a sense of urgency. Without wasting a minute, five hours after being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, the president has signed a dozen executive orders that reverse, most of them, measures of the Donald Trump Administration. The rest represent a rudder in the management of the coronavirus crisis, when the country already exceeds 400,000 deaths, and aim to provide relief to its victims. The package of decrees does not lack commitments to fight against climate change, correct the migration policy of the previous Administration, with an ambitious plan that ultimately foresees granting citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants, and guaranteeing racial justice and respect. to minorities.
Returning to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the midst of a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees, and the Paris Climate Agreement are the first two electoral promises fulfilled, and they decisively correct the isolationism of their predecessor in office. The new Democratic Administration also suspends the veto of entry into the United States for nationals of eleven Muslim countries, reversing one of Trump’s first decisions when he arrived at the White House in January 2017, and retakes the protection of the dreamers under the DACA program within the framework of an ambitious bill, sent to Congress this Wednesday, which, if approved, will represent the largest immigration reform since the presidency of Republican Ronald Reagan (1981-1989), which legalized three million undocumented.
The plan, called the US Citizenship Act of 2021, aims to “responsibly” manage the border, protect families and communities, and “better manage migration in the Northern Hemisphere”; the ultimate goal is the regularization of the 11 million irregular in the country. The provisions also include an immediate halt to the construction of the wall with Mexico, around which Trump articulated his severe immigration policy. Biden today ended the declaration of national emergency that once served as the Republican’s base to divert federal funds to the construction of the wall.
The intention behind the new president’s edicts is, according to the statement of his transition team, “not only to reverse the serious damage of the Trump Administration, but also to move the country forward”, both domestically and in the foreign, a global dimension obscured by Trump that Biden wants to re-launch. Hence, the decision to regain the membership of the WHO is due to its “fundamental” role in coordinating the international response to covid-19, and by extension, to “making Americans and the world safer” .
At home, Biden will restructure the Government to coordinate a unified national response to the pandemic, with the creation, via an executive order, of the position of coordinator of response to covid-19 -another of his electoral promises-, which he will dispatch directly with the president . It will also decree the mandatory use of the mask in all buildings of the Federal Administration. Resetting the response to a crisis of such magnitude – with an average of 200,000 new cases and 3,000 deaths a day in the last seven days – will be the priority of his presidency. In addition, economic aid is available to the families most affected by the crisis derived from the pandemic, including an extension of the moratorium on evictions until September, as well as the reinforcement of the fight against the virus.
The reincorporation of the United States into the Paris Agreement against climate change is another electoral promise, which it renewed on October 31, on the eve of the elections, the day that the country’s official disengagement from the global pact took place. Another presidential decree will abound in addressing climate change from the perspective of climate justice. Biden’s decrees also include revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, an ambitious energy project that would link the State of Nebraska and Canada and that was approved by Trump despite strong political and environmental opposition. As if it were a show of poetic justice, Biden now closes a circle, since the important energy project, valued at $ 9 billion, had previously been rejected by President Barack Obama.
Advancing equality, racial justice and the defense of minorities are the objectives of other measures that, in the form of executive orders, guidelines, memoranda or letters, Biden has adopted on the first day of his presidency. Almost all of them found an echo during the election campaign, so Biden starts on the right foot: fulfilling, at least, part of what he promised.
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