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The New Arab Staff

Joe Biden set to roll back some of Trump's most controversial policies

Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' inauguration is scheduled to take place in January [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 November, 2020

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The Democratic president-elect plans major changes in immigration, healthcare and climate policy.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to challenge some of the most contentious elements of Donald Trump's legacy in the first 100 days of his presidency.

The Democratic former vice president has already promised to do away with Trump's "Muslim ban" on his first day in office in January.

Biden will be easily be able to rescind the ban on entry of travellers from 13 countries, most of them Muslim-majority of African nations. 

However, lawsuits from Republican supporters of the travel ban could hold up the process, analysts say.

Immigration reforms

Biden has also signalled his intention to reform immigration law as soon as possible.

On his first day in office, he plans to send a bill to Congress opening a pathway to citizenship for some 11 million migrants living illegally in the United States, a campaign official told Reuters.

The bill also aims to end a campaign against "Dreamers" - people living in the US illegally after entering the country as children - by the Trump administration, revitalising an Obama-era programme and opening a pathway to citizensip for around 400,000 people.

The former vice president has also said he will raise the annual ceiling for refugee admissions to 125,000, although he has not said when in his presidency that will occur.


Refugee admissions to the US have been slashed under Trump to just 15,000 people a year.

Biden has also pledged to end the seperation of migrant children from their families and the diversion of defence funds to build a wall at the American-Mexican border.

Tackling pandemic, climate change

As with the "Muslim ban", Biden has likewise promised to roll back Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement as soon as he takes office.

That move should be simple as Trump withdrew from the agreement via executive order.

However, Biden's pledge to take action and make the US carbon neutral by 2050 will be more difficult.

That will require significant legislation and may face opposition; Republicans currently hold a majority in the Senate, although that could change with a January run-off in Georgia.

On day one of his presidency, Biden has also pledged to reverse the country's withdrawal the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Trump began the process to withdraw the US from body earlier this year, complaining that the WHO was "under Chinese control".

The Democratic president-elect has promised to take a very different approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Biden has said he will reveal a 12-person coronavirus task force on Monday.

During his campaign, he promised to expand testing, implement a national test-and-trace programme, and push for state mandates on mask-wearing. 

"It's going to take a lot of hard work to end this pandemic," Biden said earlier this month.

"I do promise this: We will start on day one doing the right things."

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