Young immigration, climate and racial justice activists say they are confident about the Biden administration after President Biden signed a series of executive orders on his first day in office that reverse many guidelines set by the Trump administration.
Among his initial orders, Biden ordered the construction of Trump’s border wall to be halted, his predecessor’s travel ban to predominantly Muslim countries lifted, and the Paris Agreement re-entered. Biden also signed a presidential memorandum to strengthen DACA, the Obama-era program that protected undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation.
“It feels like a huge weight is being taken off my shoulders just because I know so many people are suffering from what the previous government did,” said Leidy Leon, an 18-year-old Mexican immigrant and DACA Applicant, told CNN.
Biden’s decision to prioritize actions that affect immigrants has a direct impact on their daily lives, she said.
Ahmad Ibsais, a 19-year-old Muslim American, is optimistic about Biden’s approach to immigration and inclusion of Muslim people.
“It gives me a lot of hope for the direction of this country,” said Ibsais of Biden’s order to lift travel bans for predominantly Muslim countries.
“For many Muslim Americans I have met and my family, we have come to this country in search of a better future and a better life. Hopefully we now have a president who will undo something that has been withdrawn from an American ideal, ”Ibsais told CNN.
Lily Gardner, a 17-year-old climate activist, described the decisions as “really big gains for the climate movement.”
Gardner – an organizer of Sunrise Movement, the youth-led climate justice organization – said as those executive orders signal that Biden takes the climate seriously, “this is the beginning and it is a long way from the end.”
“This is a big signal that these two things are day one priorities and I think it signals the importance of climate justice for the next 100 days and for the rest of the administration, I hope,” said Gardner.
Across the board, these young activists say they will continue to press the president and his administration into more aggressive progressive action.
When it comes to racial justice, Biden “sets the tone for what’s next for our country,” Chelsea Miller, a 24-year-old racial justice advocate, told CNN.
Miller said that by prioritizing equity in its executive orders, Biden is “taking a step in the right direction”.
“But I think when we talk about the 17 executive orders we want to push for the next 17 because there is so much more to do,” Miller said, adding that she would like to see executive orders and laws that This will impact activists on the front lines of the Racial Justice Movement.
“With regard to the Black Lives Matter movement in particular, I look for instructions from the executive that may provide protection for protesters,” Miller said, adding that there should be an executive order “with protests for protesters” released last summer by false allegations or over-targeted by the police. ”