Biden’s Top 10 Executive Orders

Colleen Aitken, Staff Writer

During Biden’s first week in office he signed over 24 executive orders, 17 of which were signed in just his first day in office. However, 10 stood out as the most influential in dismantling Trump-era policies and bringing in a new wave of progressivism in America. 

The first executive order that stands out is the “Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing”, which is broken down into 8 sections. The order comprehensively lays out new guidelines for federal employees, but the most important part of the order is under section 2, mandating that facial coverings must be worn on federal lands. This marks the end of congress members debating over whether they need to wear masks on the congress floor, as it is federal property. 

The second order that is substantial is the “Executive Order on Economic Relief Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic”, which addresses the economic fallout caused by the pandemic. It only has three sections and is quite short in length, but it’s important as it orders all executive departments and agencies to identify ways they can take to minimize the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

The “Executive Order on the Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families” is essential to know as it reverses one of the most controversial Trump Administration immigration policies. It’s eight sections lays out Joe Biden’s policy for how families crossing the border should be treated and establishes a task force solely dedicated to the reunification of families.

Another immigration order that stands out is the “Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)”. This short order is tremendously important as it protects and helps those who immigrated to the US as children. This order rolls back the Trump Administration’s strict policies against DACA recipients and grants more security to the over 600,000 dreamers in America.

Another extremely controversial policy being revoked is the Trump Administration’s travel ban on Muslim countries. In the “Proclamation on Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to The United States” Biden condemns the ban and calls it a “stain on our national conscience”.

The Biden’s administration’s first step in tackling global warming was rejoining the Paris Agreement, which the Trump Administration left in 2017. The “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad” is a symbolic statement in the fight against climate change and is an important step to move the United States in a more eco-friendly direction. 

This order proclaims that the federal government will not renew its contracts with privately owned correctional facilities, ending the corrupt practice throughout the entire country.”

The “Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis” is an eight section order that reverses an array of Trump Administration climate policies. One of the most impactful changes is the renewed protection of some arctic areas from oil drilling, an Obama-era policy that the Trump Administration repealed. Biden also revoked the permit allowing the Keystone XL Pipeline due to its negative environmental impact. 

In 2017, the Trump Administration banned transgender individuals from serving in the military, which President Biden condemned and repealed in the “Executive Order on Enabling All Qualified Americans to Serve Their Country in Uniform”. This order is an essential step in achieving equal rights for members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

In a move to restore relations with tribal nations, the “Memorandum on Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships” reaffirms tribal sovereignty and respects tribal rights to self governance. This order reaffirms the policies laid out in The Presidential Memorandum of November 5, 2009. 

Lastly, the most surprising order signed was the “Executive Order on Reforming Our Incarceration System to Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities”. This order recognizes the disproportionate amount of people of color in the prison system and states that privately owned prisons do not meet the safety and security standards that are considered humane for prisoners. This order proclaims that the federal government will not renew its contracts with privately owned correctional facilities, ending the corrupt practice throughout the entire country.

All of these orders, as well as those not mentioned, send a clear message from President Biden to the American people that he plans on fulfilling the promises made during his campaign and push America towards a more progressive future.