By February 1, Joe Biden had signed an unprecedented 42 executive orders in just the first few days of his administration. These included executive orders which looked to expand socialized medicine, provide taxpayer funding for foreign abortions, destroy American energy jobs, rejoin meaningless and counterproductive international agreements and organizations, further the promotion of ahistorical mischaracterizations of the United States, and to call for transgender rights in school sports — to name a few.
Despite Biden’s use of the executive branch to bypass the legislature since entering office— after reaching the White House while calling for national unity — the new president has continued to add to this list. Since the beginning of February, Biden has signed an additional nine executive orders and actions, putting his running tally at an unbelievable 52 executive orders and actions after just 20 days in office.
This is the same Joe Biden who, prior to winning the election in November, described ruling by executive order as dictatorial, reminding us that “we’re a democracy.”
.@JoeBiden in October: “I have this strange notion, we are a democracy … if you can’t get the votes … you can’t [legislate] by executive order unless you’re a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need consensus.” pic.twitter.com/7UotJCXSm3
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 26, 2021
Here is an overview of what the nine executive orders and actions signed this month actually mean for the country and, in some cases, the world:
A Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into The United States
This order calls for the reversal of President Trump’s decision to remove tariffs on aluminum imported from the United Arab Emirates. Trump’s initial decision had been part of an economic reward following UAE’s peace agreement with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords. The proclamation cites “national security interests,” arguing that “imports from the UAE may still displace domestic production, and thereby threaten to impair our national security.”
Memorandum on Maximizing Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency
Reaffirms ongoing efforts regarding the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and directs the Department of Homeland Security to assist state and local governments by leveraging FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), stating “it is the policy of my Administration to combat and respond to COVID-19 with the full capacity and capability of the Federal Government to protect and support our families, schools, and businesses, and to assist State, local, Tribal, and territorial governments to do the same.”
Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans
This begins the process of reviewing (with the presumed eventual goal of removing) the “public charge rule,” which involved the denial of visas to immigrants classified as likely or liable to become a Public Charge — defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service as “a person who has received one or more public benefits for more than 12 months within any 36-month period.”
Such changes are justified as follows: “Consistent with our character as a Nation of opportunity and of welcome, it is essential to ensure that our laws and policies encourage full participation by immigrants, including refugees, in our civic life; that immigration processes and other benefits are delivered effectively and efficiently; and that the Federal Government eliminates sources of fear and other barriers that prevent immigrants from accessing government services available to them.”
Executive Order on Creating a Comprehensive Regional Framework to Address the Causes of Migration, to Manage Migration Throughout North and Central America, and to Provide Safe and Orderly Processing of Asylum Seekers at the United States Border
President Biden promises to “coordinate place-based efforts in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (the ‘Northern Triangle’) to address the root causes of migration” by “combating corruption, strengthening democratic governance, and advancing the rule of law; promoting respect for human rights, labor rights, and a free press; countering and preventing violence, extortion, and other crimes perpetrated by criminal gangs, trafficking networks, and other organized criminal organizations; combating sexual, gender-based, and domestic violence; and addressing economic insecurity and inequality.”
Executive Order on the Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families
Establishes an “Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families” to identify “all children who were separated from their families at the United States-Mexico border” during Trump’s administration and to facilitate and enable “the reunification of each of the identified children with their families.” Most notably, this includes “the issuance of visas or other immigration benefits,” presumably to the parents who are located outside of the United States.
Executive Order on Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration
Expands U.S. refugee programs, including “resettlement of individuals displaced directly or indirectly from climate change,” citing the “long tradition of the United States as a leader in refugee resettlement provides a beacon of hope for persecuted people around the world, promotes stability in regions experiencing conflict, and facilitates international collaboration to address the global refugee crisis.”
Memorandum on Revitalizing America’s Foreign Policy and National Security Workforce, Institutions, and Partnerships
Pandering to the political establishment, the memorandum states “Our national security and foreign policy institutions are made up of remarkable professionals and patriots whose service and sacrifice are too often taken for granted and whose expertise has too often been sidelined or demeaned.” It continues to define several “core principles,” including integrity; transparency; diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; modernization; service; and accountability.
Memorandum on Renewing the National Security Council System
Calls for the National Security Council to be restructured in line with a given organization system, categorized by multiple committees (The National Security Council, The Principals Committee, The Deputies Committee, Interagency Policy Committees, and “General.”)
Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World
Stating that “All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love,” Biden calls for a global effort in pursuit of “ an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and to lead by the power of our example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.”
Building on the multiple waves of executive orders and actions witnessed in Biden’s first few days in office, these new orders and actions add further weight to the broad policy positions of the Biden administration.
By reinstating aluminum tariffs, Biden is actively undermining the Abraham Accords, potentially damaging the pursuit of peace in the Middle East. By working to remove the “public charge” law, he is signaling that the Democratic party sees no problem in an immigration system that makes little effort to prioritize those with a higher earning potential. His call to reunify children — in part — indicates that those separated may be reunited on American soil, with visas provided for parents. This only incentivizes more families to make the dangerous attempt to cross the border with vulnerable children.
Finally, while calling to advance the human rights of LGBTQI people across the world, Biden and his administration are ignoring that the United States’ greatest adversaries are also the driving force behind such levels of persecution.
It’s one thing to file a memorandum. It’s another to follow through with substantive action. If Biden’s first 20 days in office are any indication, substantive action will likely come in the form of an executive order.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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