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Biden's first 100 days: Where he stands on key promises

Biden can check off on nearly all campaign promises centered on the pandemic. Some issues have been tougher for him though, like immigration.

As he rounds out his first 100 days in office, President Joe Biden's focus on reining in the coronavirus during the early months of his administration seems to have paid off: He can check off nearly all his campaign promises centered on the pandemic.

Biden has delivered on a number of his biggest campaign pledges focused on climate change and the economy as well. But, some issues have proven to be tougher for the administration, especially immigration, where Biden is grappling with how to enact promised reforms in the face of a steep increase in unaccompanied minors seeking to cross the border. On some of his promises, Biden is waiting for Congress to act.

Here is where the Biden administration stands on some of the key promises from the campaign:


On raising the refugee cap to 125,000, up from the 15,000 set by President Donald Trump:

The administration is nowhere close. The White House first said it would stick to Trump's 15,000 cap due to "humanitarian concerns." After facing backlash from Democrats, it shifted gears and said Biden would increase the historically low cap on refugees set by Trump — but, probably not all the way to the 62,500 that Biden previously had planned. And the numbers actually admitted this year are likely to be closer to 15,000.

On the promised surge of humanitarian resources to the border, and the promise to encourage public-private partnerships to deal with an increase in migration there:

Yes this is happening, but, is it enough? The Department of Homeland Security has deployed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help deal with the crisis a major increase of border arrivals, and Biden signed an executive order asking officials to prepare plans for using humanitarian resources there. He has yet to establish any new public-private partnerships. The largest number of unaccompanied children ever at the border created massive overcrowding at Customs and Border Protection facilities and set off a mad scramble for temporary space at convention centers, military bases and other large venues.

On reforming the U.S. asylum system:

This is incomplete. Biden signed an executive order in February directing his officials to craft a strategy for migration, including refugees and asylum seekers. Biden has promised to unveil a new "humane" asylum system but, he and his aides have been mum on timing and offered no specifics. The Biden administration has eliminated some Trump-era policies, like a requirement that new asylum seekers need to wait in Mexico. But, he has kept a controversial Trump-era policy that allows Customs and Border Protection to expel undocumented migrants to avoid the spread of COVID-19. And Biden has yet to articulate a plan to manage asylum flows beyond proposing billions of dollars to be spent to address its root causes in Central America.

On delivering a comprehensive immigration reform bill to Congress within his first 100 days:

This has been done.

On ending travel restrictions on people from a number of Muslim-majority countries:

This has been done.

On reversing a Trump-era order expanding criteria for deporting immigrants and a return to an Obama-era principle of prioritizing deportations of immigrants posing a national security, border security or public health risk:

This has been done.

On stopping funding to build the border wall:

This has been done.

On reversing Trump's public charge rule discouraging immigrants from using public benefits:

This has been done.

On restoring the Obama-era principle of deporting foreigners who are seen as posing a national security threat or who have committed crimes in addition to the crime of illegal entry:

This has been done.

On freezing deportations for 100 days:

The administration attempted it, but, it was blocked in court.

On streamlining and improving the naturalization process for green card holders:

This is in progress. President Biden signed an executive order in February ordering a plan to improve the naturalization process, and the Department of Homeland Security has since revoked some Trump-era rules, sought public input into naturalization barriers and reverted to a 2008 version of the U.S. civics test for applicants, which is considered more accessible than the Trump-era revamped one.

On ending family separation and creating a task force to reunite families separated at the border:

This is in progress. President Biden signed executive orders ending the policy and establishing a task force focused on reuniting families. The task force is making slow progress as it pores over thousands of records.

On ordering a review of Temporary Protected Status:

No review has been ordered, but Biden's Department of Homeland Security has granted TPS for Venezuelans and Burmese, and extended it for Syrians and extended a related program for Liberians.

On convening a regional meeting of leaders, including officials from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Canada, to address the factors driving migration and propose a regional resettlement solution.

This hasn't been completed yet. Vice President Kamala Harris, who was tasked with dealing with the root causes of migration, has spoken to the leaders of Mexico and Guatemala, but no regional meeting is on the horizon.

On protecting those often described as "dreamers" — young immigrants brought to the U.S. undocumented, by their parents and their families, by reinstating DACA, the Obama-era policy defending them from deportation:

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in March his agency was issuing a rule to "preserve and fortify DACA," but the policy faces a Texas court challenge that could invalidate protections for those often described as "dreamers."

On ensuring that personnel within Immigration and Customs Enforcement and within Customs and Border Protection abide by professional standards and are held accountable for inhumane treatment:

Biden included funding for training and investigating misconduct in his immigration bill and in the budget he proposed to Congress. His administration has faced questions about allegations of abuse in at least one Texas facility, which are being investigated.

On ending prolonged migrant detention and investing in a case-management system to process people:

There has been no announcement of added investments in case-management systems. The administration did roll out plans to release parents and children within 72 hours of their arrival in the United States in March. Officials subsequently acknowledged that hundreds of children have been held by Border Patrol for much longer, due to an increase in unaccompanied minors arriving at the border and a lack of facilities to house them.


On reversing a transgender military ban:

This has been done.

On establishing a police oversight board:

This was abandoned. The Biden administration said it was scrapping the idea, after consultations with civil rights groups and police unions that said it would be counterproductive.

On directing the attorney general to deliver a list of recommendations for restructuring the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with other Justice Department agencies, to better enforce gun laws:

This has not been done yet.

On directing the FBI to issue a report on delays in background checks for gun purchases:

This has not been done yet.

On reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act:

This will require congressional action.

On signing the Equality Act:

This will require congressional action.

On creating a Cabinet-level working group that is focused on promoting union organizing, tasked with delivering a plan to increase union density and address economic inequality:

This has not been done yet.


On rejoining the World Health Organization after the Trump administration left:

This has been done.

On ensuring 100 million vaccines have been administered before the end of his first 100 days, later increased to 200 million:

This has been done.

On increasing access to testing and establishing a pandemic testing board:

This has been done.

On issuing a mask mandate on federal property and asking Americans to wear masks for 100 days:

This has been done.

On extending nationwide restrictions on home evictions and foreclosures:

This has been done.

On continuing to pause student loan payments:

This has been done.

On safely reopening a majority of K-8 schools:

According to data collected by Burbio, a school-tracking site, as of April 18 62% of schools were offering in-person learning every day. It is unclear what percentage of those schools are elementary schools.

On pushing for passage of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief legislative package:

This has been done, the bill passed in March.


On rescinding the Keystone XL oil pipeline permit, protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, rejoining the Paris climate agreement and embracing the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce harmful hydrofluorocarbons, or HFC's:

This has been done.

On convening the climate world summit and persuading nations to set more ambitious emissions pledges:

This has been done.

On banning new oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore waters:

This has sort of been done. Biden has imposed an indefinite moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.

On reversing the Trump rollbacks on 100 public health and environmental rules:

This is in progress. Biden signed an executive order on Inauguration Day ordering a review of some Trump-era rules on the environment, public health and science, and has begun the process of rolling back some.


On the roll back of Trump's 2017 cuts to corporate tax rates:

This is in progress. Biden has proposed raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from the 21% rate set by Trump's 2017 overhaul of the tax code.

On providing $2,000 in direct payments as part of COVID-19 relief:

This has been done. The aid package, approved right before Biden became president, offered $600 in direct payments to eligible Americans. Biden said the payment should have been $2,000. In the $1.9 trillion relief package passed in March, it included $1,400 in additional direct payments, which with the prior round, adds up to $2,000.

On a pause on federal student debt payments:

This has been done.

On ordering a review of U.S. supply chains:

This has been done.


On the promise to "end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East," and terminate U.S. involvement in Yemen's civil war:

This is in progress. Biden announced that the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan would begin by May 1, and that the redeployment would be done no later than Sept. 11. Biden also announced that he was ending American support for the five-year Saudi Arabia-led military offensive in Yemen.

On putting human rights at the center of foreign policy:

Biden has directly raised concerns with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Hong Kong, human rights abuses against Uyghur and ethnic minorities in the western Xinjiang province, and its actions toward Taiwan. He has repeatedly raised concerns about the jailing and treatment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. But, Biden declined to hold Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, directly responsible for the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, even after the publication of U.S. intelligence showing Salman approved of the hit.

On improving relations with allies who had rocky relations with Trump:

This has been mostly accomplished. Allies like Canada's Justin Trudeau and Germany's Angela Merkel, who had stormy relationships with Trump, have praised Biden for his efforts reclaim U.S. leadership on climate issues, and leaders in the Indo-Pacific have been pleased by early efforts at coordination on China policy.

On reversing the embrace of "dictators and tyrants like Putin and Kim Jong Un":

Biden has levied two rounds of sanctions against the Russians. His administration decided to be measured in its approach with Putin and has said that he's interested in finding areas where the U.S. and Russia can find common ground. Biden's team acknowledges that they have sought to reengage with North Korea, but have been rebuffed.

On quickly rejoining the nuclear deal with Iran so long as Tehran comes back into compliance:

Indirect talks are under way among other signatories of the 2015 deal, including British, German, French, Chinese and Russian officials, with American officials down the hall. But, the path forward is less than certain as Tehran has thus far refused to come into compliance with the old deal without sanctions relief and it recently began enriching uranium to its highest purity ever.

On recognizing World War I-era atrocities against Armenians as genocide:

This has been done. As a candidate, Biden said, if elected, he'd make it U.S. policy to recognize the killings and mass deportations by the Ottoman Empire, which put that force on hundreds of thousands of Armenians more than a century ago. It is something past presidents have avoided doing out of concern of angering strategic ally Turkey. Biden followed through on the promise on the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Turkey swiftly condemned the move.


Associated Press writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.

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