As Dale Carnegie, an American writer and lecturer, once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
On Wednesday, January 20, President Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Biden and his team at The White House have planned out his first 100 days in office and what they hope to accomplish in this time frame. According to The Economist, the first 100 days of a president’s time in office are important as it is the best time to enact change and make ambitious goals for the future. Some of the tasks Biden hopes to accomplish include managing the COVID-19 pandemic, reviving the economy, battling climate change and tackling the issue of racism in the United States.
As of Wednesday, February 17, Biden has signed 32 executive orders since he has been in office. A lot of these are working toward major changes in the United States, including providing more protection for immigrants brought to the United States as children, halting construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, ending the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission and more. One executive action Biden signed, which states that the United States will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, is argued to be of crucial importance to the world and the Xavier community.
“I think that the Paris Climate Agreement is a great step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” junior Maya Karl said. “It is extremely important that we rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement because we need to get ahead of this issue and try our best to fix it before it becomes too late.”
The Paris Climate Agreement was made in a global effort to fight climate change and requires countries to make commitments to tackling climate change in their respective countries. Not only will rejoining this agreement be a step towards environmental awareness in the country, but it also has the ability to rebuild and strengthen diplomatic alliances. There are, however, risks to this agreement, one being the climate targets in the agreement will not protect all countries from the effects of climate change. The previous Trump administration left the agreement because they believed it would undermine the country’s economy and put the country at a disadvantage. However, by rejoining this agreement, the Biden administration believes it not only advances climate action, but it also aids national security and health.
Biden also called for the country to unite and fight these battles as one, amidst all of the division in the United States currently, which some argue is due to reasons such as politics, racism, injustices and more.
“Across nearly every faith, the same principles hold: We are all God’s children; we should treat each other as we would like to be treated ourselves,” Biden said. “And this is time to act—and this time to act is because it is what the core values of this nation call us to do. And I believe the vast majority of Americans—Democrats, Republicans and independents—share these values and want us to act as well.”
Additionally, Biden has signed executive orders to reverse some of the immigration policies set in place by the Trump administration. The Trump administration previously set these policies in place for a variety of reasons, including restricting illegal immigration, completing the border wall, restricting travel visas from particular countries and more. This action sets the stage for future action regarding protection for immigrants, while also tackling some of the issues now. One specific executive order he signed ordered a task force to identify all migrant children who have been previously separated from their families at the Mexico-United States border. Some argue that the order is unnecessary and that the previous policies were sufficient, but others argue the importance of this order, as it calls for unity and compassion for all people.
“As a mother of young children, the news footage of immigrant children being separated from their parents at the border and the living conditions they were put through while on American soil, really caused me emotional pain,” English teacher Mrs. Molly Burgeson said. “All of our ancestors were immigrants, so why would we treat fellow immigrants in such a way? This earth, this land, is not ours no matter if we have a land deed or not. We all share it.”
The executive orders Biden has signed and plans to sign are argued to change in the United States, in big ways and small. Biden hopes to work through major crises during his presidency and to unite the nation by being a president for all Americans.