Transitioning to the Biden Administration; Shaping a new America

It’s official. The Biden Administration is now in charge and President Biden has moved into the White House, what’s next for the country?

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are the leaders of our new administration in the United States for the next four years. Dr. Jill Biden is our first lady, and Douglas Emhoff is the second gentleman. 2020 and now 2021 have been very eventful. Many incidents and conflicts have occurred. Will we be able to move past this in 2021 with President Biden as our 46th president?

Many things within the United States, in both our foreign and domestic affairs need to be worked on. 

First, I want to mention President Biden’s proposal for far-reaching legislation on immigration. This legislation will give 11 million undocumented immigrants and current recipients of DACA in the United States the opportunity to become citizens in as little as eight years. According to Michael D. Shear of the NY Times in his article “Biden to Announce Broad Plan to Reverse Trump Immigration Policies,” this would mean DACA recipients would be able to immediately apply for permanent residency along with expanding asylum and refugee programs.

Such legislation is crucial for our country because America is comprised of refugees and immigrants. America is a huge melting pot and was built by immigrants, we must accept that the world is for everyone. We must also acknowledge the Indigenous people of this land, research how names of towns and cities were changed from the Indigenous language and develop more empathy for the refugees that seek solace in the United States. 

My hopes for such legislation and similar ones introduced is that we will have more and more understanding people. That the hate and racism that was spread in the past in this country will no longer influence people to accept stereotypes and respond more out of fear than love. 

With immigration detention centers still present, ICE and CBP still separating families and resources for immigrants becoming harder to access in the U.S., we must tackle this issue with more fervor than ever. With the Biden Administration in charge now, we need to drive out this hate and put an end to these human rights violations once and for all. 

Executive Order 13769, otherwise known as “The Muslim Ban,” must not be repeated again. Families, innocent people and children escape war threatened countries such as Syria to seek refuge in safer places. The trauma and hardship of seeing your home country being bombed, your people being killed, and jets in the sky dropping explosives onto a place you once felt secure in should be enough to invoke the compassion in our hearts toward the innocent people affected by this. The Obama administration is not innocent either, as the U.S. dropped over 26,000 bombs in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2016 according to Statista.

America is not just a land we can get possessive over and choose who we want in or out. We need to put ourselves in others shoes to truly understand what they had to go through. This is why I have hope that the Biden Administration will work to create a truly compassionate immigration system with human rights at the forefront. 

With this idea of compassion and human rights in mind, I want to discuss our foreign affairs, and how much more the United States should be active in restoring human rights from an international law perspective. Mike Pompeo, who is the 70th U.S. Secretary of State, released a statement last Tuesday on the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights violations toward Uyghur and other ethnic groups:

“I have determined that the PRC [People’s Republic of China], under the direction and control of the CCP [Chinese Communist party], has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state.”

Ever since the crackdown on Uyghurs, the CCP has been committing inhumane torture tactics on the Indigenous ethnic group in East Turkistan, including forced denunciation of faith, abuse, detainment and more. 

Many Uyghurs and activists within the United States and around the world have been advocating for the release of the innocent people detained and for the PRC to be held accountable for their actions. 

Dr. Gulshan Abbas, a retired medical doctor from East Turkistan, has been detained and sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment, allegedly due to affiliation with a terrorist group. Dr. Abbas is a law abiding citizen and this detainment is unjust. Her sister, Rushan Abbas, an American Uyghur, is advocating for her release from the United States. 

President Biden has labeled the treatment of Uyghurs as genocide, as did the Trump Administration. Many of the most powerful countries in the world have ties with China, especially economically. I am cautiously optimistic that President Biden will continue to call the CCP’s treatment of Uyghurs as a human rights violation, and work through international law to free the innocent people within the camps. 

We have witnessed and experienced how hate can add fuel to the fire, through hate speech and an administration that did not work in the favor of all the people. As we have concentration camps here on our own soil, to 6,000 miles away in East Turkistan, we must address these issues and let our actions speak louder than our words. 

As we are at the beginning of the year 2021 we certainly have a long way to go, but I am hopeful through advocacy, bill proposals, lobbying, activism and more that we will start to see change in the United States and be heard by our new president.