WASHINGTON DC: “Its a new day in America” proclaimed a triumphant Biden as within hours of his inauguration, Biden got to work reversing a great many of his predecessor, Donald Trump’s, most controversial policies. At the top of the list was the much maligned ‘Trump travel ban,’ popularly dubbed the ‘Muslim Ban,’ that banned visitors and migrants from more than a dozen, mostly Muslim majority, countries from entering the United States.
Several prominent civil rights groups hailed the termination of the “cruel” ban. “People will now be allowed to reunite with their families, celebrate life events, receive life-saving health care treatment, and pursue educational and career opportunities,” claimed the American Civil Liberties Union while Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), commended President Biden for “taking an important first step toward undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration.”
Awad urged Biden to “go further “in” addressing the systematic addressing systemic injustices within the federal government that led to religious and racial profiling of Muslims and immigrants.”
The reversal is part of a slew of executive measures taken by President Biden on his first day in office to undo “the gravest damages of the Trump administration.” Other prominent steps include the decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, a 100-day mask mandate and revoking Trump’s plan to withdraw from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The underlying principle of most of the orders appears to be a recommitment to global standards and international engagement after a four years of what is often described as American isolationism and acrimony towards foreigners and foreign countries. However, Biden’s most important challenges will remain on the domestic front with his predecessor showing no signs of departing from American politics and his political rivals, the Republicans, still controlling half of the Senate, enough to frustrate Biden’s most ambitious policies.
Focus will now turn to the mid-term congressional elections in two years’ time, where Biden will be hoping for his Democratic party to solidify their control of congress and bolster his administration.