Preparing for the Presidency

President-elect Joe Biden plans executive orders

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Jessie Larrinaga

President-elect Joe Biden plans to initiate several executive orders upon his inauguration in January. The orders that he has planned include measures to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the Paris Climate Accord, repeal travel bans from many Muslim countries, repeal the transgender ban from the military and reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Jessie Larrinaga, Managing Editor

According to sources close to the Biden campaign as well as Joe Biden’s personal commitments in recent months, he is planning several executive orders to enact early in his term. These include rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO), repealing the travel ban from Muslim countries, reinstating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan, and repealing the transgender military ban.  

Each of these orders will undo a policy that was established under current president Donald Trump.  

Biden also is conducting a coronavirus task force. According to APnews.com, members of this task force include Dr. Vivek Murthy, who was the previous surgeon general and commanded the public health force that dealt with Ebola.  

Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord would reestablish efforts made under the Obama administration towards combatting climate change. Biden has said that he wants to strive for zero net carbon emissions by 2050, and according to Forbes.com, part of this plan includes allotting $2 trillion for clean energy and infrastructure spending.  

According to npr.org, Biden has said that he will “completely reset” the U.S. government’s relationship with the WHO. The withdrawal of the U.S. from the organization hasn’t been fully completed – under the Trump administration it began and was set to be completed by July 2021. Under the Biden administration, however, they will move to restore the previous status as a member. 

The travel bans that Biden plans to repeal correspond to an executive action signed by Trump. It bans travel from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, and was later adapted to include North Korea and Venezuela.  

Biden’s fourth executive order plan deals with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – which allows the children of undocumented immigrants to remain within the US. According to Forbes, “this would constitute a direct reversal of Trump’s immigration policies.”  

While these are things that Biden has ensured he will do at the start of his term, according to USA Today, “President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to reverse most of those restrictionist policies, but it could take months, or even many years, to do so.” This is referring to Donald Trump’s immigration policies, including the travel ban and DACA.  

The Trump Administration enacted over 400 policies regarding immigration reform to shrink channels into the US. Some reversals will take substantial amounts of time due to bureaucratic and legal challenges.  

The ban that restricts transgender people from joining the military, however, is something that Biden could swiftly repeal. According to Politico.com, “It would take only an executive order to reverse Trump’s 2017 ban on most transgender Americans from joining the military.” 

This would allow transgender individuals to join and serve in the military in accordance with their gender identities – something which the current administration has restricted.