Biden Revokes Trump Orders on Financial Regulation, Immigration

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President Joe Biden revoked a series of executive orders and memos issued by Donald Trump, affecting policies on financial regulation, immigration, funding for so-called “anarchist” cities and architecture.

The actions were Biden’s latest to erase Trump’s legacy and reset the nation’s course, without any involvement by Congress. In Biden’s first week in office alone, he issued 39 executive actions, many of which overturned Trump orders.

The orders revoked by Biden include a 2017 measure signed by Trump directing the government to streamline regulations affecting the financial services industry, part of an effort to roll back the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Biden’s also targeted some of the most controversial executive actions Trump took during his final months in office.

Among them is the withdrawal of an executive order that used the coronavirus pandemic to halt the issuance of new green cards, a move that drastically cut legal immigration to the U.S. Trump -- who unveiled the changes after originally tweeting that he would act to prohibit “immigration into our Country” -- had argued the measures were necessary to protect the American economy as it recovered from the pandemic.

“To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here,” Biden said in a presidential proclamation. “It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world.”

Biden had come under intense pressure from immigrant rights advocates to rescind Trump’s immigration bans, which were set to expire at the end of March. Groups that favored lower levels of immigration said they were essential for protecting U.S. workers.

The president’s proclamation, however, did not revoke a different set of Trump’s pandemic-related restrictions on certain temporary worker visas, including H-1Bs, which technology companies use to hire coders and engineers from other countries. Business groups called on Biden to immediately lift those bans and leaders have grown frustrated that they have not yet been revoked, arguing the policies hurt U.S. companies.

Restrictions on guest-worker visas, which also cover non-agricultural seasonal laborers, au pairs and others, have been under review by the Biden administration and are due to expire at the end of March.

Biden also eliminated Trump’s effort to identify cities he claimed were “permitting anarchy, violence and destruction” following anti-police brutality protests last summer, some of which involved violence and property destruction. Trump sought to cut federal funding to New York City, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Classical Architecture

And Biden scrapped a lame duck executive order that made classical architecture the preferred style for federal buildings in Washington. Trump’s order stopped short of short of mandating that all new buildings conform to a classical style, but did require that they be “beautiful.”

Finally, the president withdrew two Trump-era moves affecting federal workers: a 2018 executive order that allowed Pentagon leadership to limit the ability of civilian Department of Defense employees from collective bargaining, and a 2021 executive order that restricted the ability of career staff at government agencies from issuing regulations.

Any federal positions, committees, and task forces created in association with the orders would also be eliminated, the White House said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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