Biden’s broken promises


photo by Bethany Barker

Laura Shaw’s column is a recurring column where she discusses her view of political matters and events both locally and nationally.

Despite heavy support for Biden leading up to the election, many are quick to criticize his presidency, but with good reason.
Although there are many things to be grateful for with this new administration, such as the passing of the Equality Act, and the mask mandate on federal property, I fear that if we don’t hold Biden accountable now, he will retain too much power.
It has been clear from the beginning that Biden was not the first choice for most that voted, or even campaigned, for him. A large driving force behind Biden’s win was a coalition of progressive activists and organizers that desperately knew that another Trump term would be catastrophic. But in his first few days of his presidency Biden once again proved that he is not operating under a progressive agenda.
Compromising on COVID-19 relief may seem good because of the months of gridlock, but the costs include reducing the margin of people that qualify for stimulus checks. This, on top of not supporting a raise in the minimum wage and student debt cancellation, has landed the new president many criticisms from progressive Democrats. Biden was hesitant to share his full opinion on student debt cancellation, a controversial opinion during the presidential campaign that was brought up in many debates, but later conceded to work towards the issue. However, there have been no signs of Biden supporting policy to do so.
But by far the most controversial and complicated issue are the recent missiles sent to Syria to “de-escalate” tensions in the Middle East. Last Thursday, Biden ordered airstrikes to combat Iranian-backed militia groups that have been targeting US troops for the past two weeks. The strikes were a defensive measure meant to deter future attacks, but that seemed to have been lost. On Wednesday, an Iraqi base housing US troops was reportedly hit with 10 rockets. Biden promised to limit tensions with the region, but so far, he is doing anything but that.
Another highly contested issue is the promise that Biden broke to remove all migrant camp facilities holding children in cages and very poor conditions. Children have been returned to the Homestead facility in Miami-Dade County, but it has been labeled as a ‘shelter’ instead of a detention camp. Similar facilities have been reopened in Texas and in other places along the southern border where COVID-19 cases are rising. It is hypocritical of the Biden-Harris administration to reopen these ‘shelters’ after so adamantly attacking Trump his entire presidency for almost identical situations. While I understand that this could mean better conditions, it is still irresponsible to hold children in large detention facilities while we are experiencing a global health crisis. And even if we were not in a pandemic, no one deserves to be treated as such, especially children. We need to demand better facilities and more efficient housing for minors.
It is our responsibility as citizens to make sure that the government is working for us and to hold our elected officials accountable. I did not support Biden, I supported a vote against Trump. Biden won, but he is still a politician and we need to continue to hold him accountable, like we should any president, when he does not fulfill his promises is responsible and necessary.