BY SURJIT SINGH FLORA
New U.S. President Joe Biden has begun his work with great fanfare. This is perhaps the first time a president has made drastic changes to U.S. immigration policy at home and abroad. Biden’s policy of tightening U.S. immigration restrictions is a drastic about-face from former President Donald Trump’s stance.
The first step Trump took when he took office was to tighten U.S. immigration policy. Trump has banned travellers from many Muslim countries from entering the United States. In the name of increasing employment for Americans in the United States, the conditions for H-1B visas were tightened to the point that professionals from abroad could not enter the United States.
It even banned the employment of spouses who came with such visas. Millions of people were waiting to apply for U.S. citizenship. But now Biden has broken all such barriers. About 25,000 people stranded in Mexico have been allowed to come to the United States to face trial. Similarly, there are signs of significant changes in foreign policy. Biden’s two-hour telephone conversation with the Chinese president is also a sign that he disagrees with Trump’s closed-door policy and that the United States is moving towards open dialogue with China.
Trump intended to encircle China with a trio of Japan, India, and Britain, which seems to have ended with his departure. Internally, Trump pursued a policy of cracking down on Chinese companies. But he was not very successful in this matter. On the contrary, these steps of Trump only harmed the country’s economy. Biden’s drastic changes are causing a great deal of controversy in the country and abroad.
An open atmosphere is developing, especially within the United States. Overseas, Biden’s policies have been widely praised. It can be said that Biden has wholly deviated from Trump’s aggressive policies. The Democrats’ impeachment trial against Trump, however, did not succeed in the Senate. But Americans are mainly sympathetic to the Democrats’ move.
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has also begun campaigning. She has also taken a stand against Trump and took a path to deviate from Trump’s policies. Many decisions were made during the Trump administration that differed from necessary U.S. policies. The methods used to implement Trump’s policies also seemed arrogant and arbitrary to many. That is why Trump has faced so much criticism inside and outside the United States.
Trump’s behaviour has been sharply criticized, especially during the presidency. Trump’s attitude towards the Chinese government, first towards Muslim countries and then during the COVID-19 epidemic, was also not well received. That is why Biden has taken the path of drastic change in them since he came to power. Biden appears to be a very calm and thoughtful person. His administration has made big decisions in the last four weeks. But these decisions have not been much discussed, but these decisions and their implementation has been kept very relaxed.
The Trump administration’s nonsensical propaganda against China has also been banned. However, there is no doubt that the United States is currently facing a significant economic challenge from China. Still, Biden’s policies toward China are not sharply confrontational. On the contrary, there is a double-edged sword of competition and cooperation. That is why they seem to be pursuing a policy of collaboration with China instead of mere confrontation. Biden will also have to reconsider the policies pursued during Trump’s tenure in European countries, the Middle East, the Asian region, and South Africa.
The South Asian region’s role, including China, India, Pakistan and their neighbours, also remains essential. While U.S. interests demand a halt to China’s expansion in the region, it also does not want to damage relations with its long-time ally, Pakistan, as India seeks to curb China’s expansionist policy. In the face of support, the U.S. will try to strike a balance that will keep Pakistan out of its grip. In recent years, China has invested heavily in Pakistan and has also taken over one of its ports and is building a road connecting Pakistan and China.
India’s concern has been heightened by China’s construction of a road corridor connecting Pakistan to Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Therefore, balancing relations with China, India and Pakistan will be a significant challenge for the United States. In recent years, European countries have also been angry with the United States.
Biden will also have to take big steps and show generosity to bring European countries into the US fold. This could lead to a heated debate between Republicans and Democrats over new policies in the coming days and months.