Biden in office

Day five in the Oval Office. Photo by Mike Beaty on Flickr.

— 2 minute read — By Sam Portillo

In his first weeks as U.S. President, Joe Biden has signed a number of executive orders to overturn what his press secretary describes as “immoral policies” enacted by Donald Trump.

As of 3rd March, Biden has issued 34 presidential directives on issues such as the penal system, environment and immigration. Executive orders do not require the consent of Congress, giving new occupants of the White House an avenue to making changes quickly. In Donald Trump’s first year in office, he issued a total of 55 orders, reversing many Obama policies that he considered over-reaching and expensive.

The Democrat has revoked Trump’s emergency declaration in relation to immigration, which allowed funding to go towards the controversial U.S.-Mexico border wall. He has also brought an end to Trump’s blanket ban on anyone enterring the U.S. from countries associated with radical Islamist terrorism such as Somalia and Yemen.

Through another executive order, Biden also repealed his predecessor’s ban on transgender Americans joining and serving in the military. Another order entailed “sex discrimination protections” within the federal government, which is by some counts the second largest employer in the U.S., only behind Walmart.

Following promises to tackle racial injustice, the president has also signed an order calling for a transition away from private, commercially-owned prisons which benefit from detaining petty and low-level criminals, a disproportionate amount of which are African American.

The new administration has also revoked TC Energy’s permit to develop a major oil pipeline through the Mojave region, marking a major victory for climate activists and local Native American communities who believe in preserving the planet’s natural state.

Last month, the Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection. Despite seven Republican senators joining the Democrats in voting to convict, the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority for such decisions to be made. In his first public appearance since 20th January, Trump later spoke at the Conservative Political Action Committee, where he was greeted with passionate applause.

Recent events have proven, then, that even outside the White House, Trump’s legacy remains strong, and there are some things – his unapologetic charisma in front of a crowd, his affinity with supporters, his promise to restore America to a greater past – that even executive orders cannot touch.