A desire to make a clean sweep. Joe Biden will take, upon entering the White House on Wednesday, January 20, a dozen presidential actions to revisit Donald Trump’s flagship measures. From the day of his inauguration, the future tenant of the White House affirms his commitments in terms of environmental and migration policy, but also in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic and against inequalities.
Among these actions, Joe Biden intends in particular to initiate the return of the United States to the Paris climate agreement, announced Gina McCarthy, responsible for this file within the new presidential team.
He will also revisit a series of deregulation measures taken by the outgoing administration in terms of environmental standards, and revoke the authorization given by Donald Trump to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project between the United States and Canada.
Another action, this time in terms of the fight against Covid-19, which has killed 400,000 in the country, the president will also sign a decree to make the wearing of a mask compulsory in federal buildings, or for federal agents .
Immunologist Anthony Fauci will speak on behalf of the United States at a meeting of the WHO executive board on Thursday, said Jeff Zients, who coordinates the new administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, during a press briefing.
On the economy side, in order to mitigate its impact on people who have lost their income, it will also extend the moratorium on housing evictions and the pause in federal student loan repayments, said Jeff Zients.
In terms of migration policy, he will also take the opposite view of Donald Trump who had made the fight against illegal immigration a marker of his presidency. Joe Biden will thus overturn a controversial migration decree adopted by his predecessor to prohibit nationals of predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. This measure was “rooted in xenophobia and religious animosity”, justified Jake Sullivan, the future National Security adviser to the White House.
The Democrat will also sign a “proclamation” to suspend construction work on a wall on the border with Mexico and its funding from the Pentagon budget, which has sparked bitter political and judicial battles over the past four years.
Joe Biden will send in parallel a bill on immigration to Congress. In particular, it will offer the 700,000 young people who arrived illegally in the United States when they were children, the “Dreamers”, and other immigrants in an irregular situation a possibility of naturalization on time and under conditions.
The reform project also provides additional funds to strengthen surveillance and border controls and an assistance plan for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the countries of origin of most migrants, of four billion dollars on four years.
Fourth front: the fight against racial inequalities. Joe Biden will sign an executive order to order federal agencies to assess inequalities in their programs and policies, said Susan Rice, future director of the Home Policy Council, and to reinstate diversity training canceled by his predecessor.
These measures are only a first salvo and will be followed by other decrees and proclamations in the days to come, the advisers said.