USA and the UK
Biden reverses more Trump-era executive actions
In 2019, Trump issued a proclamation to deny visas to migrants who did not have health insurance or who did not have the funds to pay for medical care.
The proclamation made it so that visa applicants had to prove they would be covered by an approved health insurance within just 30 days of being in the US. If they could not do this, they would not be granted a visa.
‘Approved’ health insurance included the likes of employer-sponsored and family coverage plans, unsubsidised health plans, and short-term plans. Medicaid and Affordable Care Act subsidies were not deemed eligible.
The policy sparked backlash as it applied to around half a million people seeking green cards from abroad, including the parents and spouses of US citizens. It never took effect due to the legal challenges brought against it.
Fast forward to 2021 and President Biden has scrapped the 2019 proclamation, stating that his administration is “committed to expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare” and that they need not resort to “barring the entry of non-citizens who seek to immigrate lawfully to this country but who lack significant financial means or have not purchased health insurance coverage from a restrictive list of qualifying plans.”
As well as reversing this executive action, the Biden administration has successfully reversed a number of other Trump-era policies. This includes bringing an end to the construction of a border wall along the US/Mexico border, reversing the US travel ban which largely targeted those from Muslim countries, and rejoining the Paris climate agreement.
Reversing executive actions on monuments
In addition, President Biden also recently revoked an order signed by Trump last year which explicitly ordered the attorney general to “prioritize within the Department of Justice the investigation and prosecution” of those who damage government-owned monuments.
This came during protests against police brutality in June 2020 following the tragic murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police detective Derek Chauvin, as statues and monuments were being defaced and toppled amidst the nationwide protests. It emphasised federal law that authorises a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the willful injury of Federal property.
Trump wished to “prosecute to the fullest extent” any person “that destroys, damages, vandalizes, or desecrates a monument, memorial, or statue”.
Many of the statues and monuments targeted by protestors were those that commemorated figures from the pro-slavery Confederacy.
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