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Friday, October 15, 2021

Nation

A look at Joe Biden’s executive orders in his first few weeks


President Joe Biden implemented over 45 executive actions in under three weeks relating to discrimination, coronavirus relief and immigration. | Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

President Joe Biden implemented over 45 executive actions in under three weeks relating to discrimination, coronavirus relief and immigration. | Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

President Joe Biden has been signing executive orders and proclamations left and right since his inauguration. 

These executive actions were overall geared to providing coronavirus relief across the nation, as well as rolling back on orders implemented by the previous administration. 

Biden also signed executive orders regarding the environment and immigration policies.

Racial equity and anti-discrimination

One of the first actions Biden took was signing an executive order to combat discrimination related to gender identity and sexual orientation.

The order addressed the adversities that adults and children may face in schools and the workplace, and discussed overlapping discrimination as well.

The executive order booted the previous administration’s policy that banned transgender individuals from serving in the military.

Biden made sure to emphasize racial equity in another anti-discriminatory order, and said it’s the government’s responsibility to strive for more progress in civil rights and racial justice along with equity.

The order discussed a review for federal government agencies to address any systemic barriers they could be creating for underprivileged populations.

Coronavirus relief

Right out of the gate, Biden signed an executive order requiring that masks must be worn and COVID-19 guidelines be followed in any facility, land or otherwise affiliated with the federal government.

In another order, Biden implemented multiple policies including the reduction of disparities in relation to coronavirus care, and to increase the production and distribution of vaccines, coronavirus tests and personal protection equipment.

Biden also signed an order that would help increase the capacity of health care facilities in order to serve more patients in need of intensive medical care.

In light of the health crisis, Biden signed an order to protect and strengthen the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid by rescinding previous executive actions that limited their capabilities.

Environment

Being one of the more commonly discussed policies, environmental protection was among the top priorities of the Biden administration. 

The president signed an executive order to use science as the basis for its response to pressing environmental issues.

The highlights of the order included not only the assurance of access to clean air and water and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also the punishment of companies that contribute to pollutants and who disproportionately affect the quality of life for low income communities and communities of color.

Other policies included were revised standards for oil and gas companies, and the revoking of the Keystone XL pipeline permit.

Immigration

Biden made a move to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, stating that those that were brought to the country at a young age and have stayed in school or joined the military are able to remain in the country.

The order elaborated the DACA policy, stating that those who fall under it may apply for a temporary work permit and contribute to the economy while they reside in the U.S.

As for the construction of the border wall, Biden signed an order to halt the construction and reallocate the taxpayer money that was put forth for it.

Another order to note would be the revoking of the previous administration’s policy on entry to the U.S. 

The executive actions that banned most travel from majority-Muslim countries signed by former President Donald Trump were overturned by the Biden administration.

Along with revoking the travel ban, Biden provided a framework regarding visa processing that may have been affected by the struck down order, as well as calling for an open line of communication with foreign governments to aid with information sharing.

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