President Joe Biden marked his 5oth day in office on March 10, thus keeping his promise of establishing a progressive body of government while repealing critical components of former President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.
Biden started his presidency by going around Congress to unilaterally change policies through executive orders. On the first day of his presidency, Biden signed a stack of orders rolling back many of Trump’s policy priorities.
1. Revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline
In May 2020, the Biden campaign released a statement saying he will “proudly stand in the Roosevelt Room again as President and stop it for good” when referring to the Keystone XL Pipeline.
A statement from his campaign says Joe Biden ‘strongly opposed the Keystone pipeline in the last administration, stood alongside President Obama and Secretary Kerry to reject it in 2015, and will proudly stand in the Roosevelt Room again as President and stop it for good.’ pic.twitter.com/8OakMVa3bF
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) May 18, 2020
On Biden’s first day of office, he revoked the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Criticism has grown from industry stakeholders, GOP lawmakers, and unions. The job loss, some estimates project, will leave up to 70,000 Americans out of work.
“It’s only day one, and with the stroke of a pen, Biden has already taken steps to kill American energy projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline which is critical to energy-producing states like Montana,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) said in a statement.
Trump had issued the presidential permit, which authorized work on the pipeline. The permit created thousands of U.S. jobs, directly and indirectly.
Mark McManus, general president of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters, said the move to end the pipeline “is a slap in the face to the thousands of union workers who are already a part of this safe and sustainable project.”
2. Ending Migration Controls
In March 2020, Biden promised to end Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program, which helped effectively end the practice of border crossers being released into the U.S. interior while they await their asylum hearings.
“Donald Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is dangerous, inhumane, and goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants,” Biden wrote in a statement. “My administration will end it.”
Donald Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy is dangerous, inhumane, and goes against everything we stand for as a nation of immigrants. My administration will end it. https://t.co/toYzMaPP1Y
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 12, 2020
As one of his first executive orders, Biden ended Remain in Mexico and is now releasing roughly 25,600 of the migrants enrolled in the program into the U.S. interior.
3. Pledge to Get Back into the World Health Organization (W.H.O.)
In July 2020, Biden pledged to join the W.H.O. on his first day in office.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 7, 2020
As one of his first executive orders in January, Biden wrote to the United Nations to declare that the U.S. would not be leaving the W.H.O., despite concerns about China’s dominance and W.H.O.’s failure on the coronavirus.
4. Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord
In November 2020, Biden promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on his first day in office.
Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it. https://t.co/L8UJimS6v2
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 5, 2020
On Biden’s first day in office, January 20th, he returned the U.S. to the Paris Agreement.
Today, President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. pic.twitter.com/V4fVV2i2jZ
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 21, 2021
5. Halting Deportations for Most Illegal Aliens
Continuously throughout the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden promised to ensure that illegal aliens are not deported until they are convicted of felonies.
“[T]he only deportations that will take place is convictions of felonies in the United States of America,” Biden said in March 2020.
In Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency memos, Biden has prevented agents from arresting and deporting about nine-in-ten illegal aliens who would have otherwise been detained. Specifically, the enforcement guidelines stop agents from deporting an illegal alien unless they are a recently convicted aggravated felon.