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'I'm not making new law. I'm eliminating bad policy': Biden defends high number of executive orders

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He slammed former President Trump's executive orders as being 'counterproductive'

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden made a point Tuesday to defend the breakneck flurry of executive orders he has churned out since taking office nearly two weeks ago, asserting, "I'm not making new law. I'm eliminating bad policy."

What are the details?

Biden signed three executive orders on immigration issues Tuesday in the Oval Office, telling the media:

"I want to make it clear: There's a lot a talk with good reason about the number of executive orders that I have signed. I'm not making new law. I'm eliminating bad policy. What I'm doing is taking on issues that 99% of them that the president — the last president of the United States — issued executive orders I thought were very counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a country. Particularly in the area of immigration. This is about how America is safer, stronger, more prosperous when we have a fair, orderly, and humane legal immigration system."

Fox News reported that the immigration executive orders were "part of a sweeping push by Biden to roll back" policies put in place by former President Donald Trump, who took heat for imposing aggressive measures regarding immigration and border security.

Biden added Tuesday, "We are going to work to undo the moral and national shame of the previous administration that literally, not figuratively, ripped children from the arms of their families ... with no plan, none whatsoever to reunify the children who are still in custody and their parents."

According to The Washington Post:

Although officials described in broad terms their intent to repudiate the previous administration's policies, they acknowledged that some of Trump's border control measures will remain in place for the time being, in one sign of their concern about a new migration wave building in the middle of the pandemic.

While campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election, Biden argued that circumventing Congress through executive orders was no way to legislate, and likened such actions to those of "a dictator." But by the end of his first week in office, he signed an eye-popping number of orders in comparison to his last eight predecessors.

Biden signed 24 executive orders over his first seven days in the White House, far more than President Barack Obama (5), President Trump (4), President Bill Clinton (2), President George H.W. Bush (1), and President Jimmy Carter (1). Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush did not sign any executive orders in their first week of office. He also signed 37 presidential actions in his first week in power.

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