Biden to undo Trump orders on civil rights, focus on racial equality

Biden will focus on police reform, enforcing equal housing, improving workplace environments and education

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President-elect Joe Biden is ready to undo the years of President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will undergo a big change under Biden. One of his main goals is to undo the changes Trump made in the division and transform it back to its original purpose, enforcing anti-discrimination laws and practices.

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“This will be an even bigger pivot because of what the Trump administration represents,” said Vanita Gupta, president and chief executive officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, according to Bloomberg. “It’s been a kind of systematic erosion of civil rights enforcement that is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent times or recent administrations.”

The division was created in 1957 by the Civil Rights Act to ensure that individuals cannot be discriminated against based on color, religion, race, national origin, sex or disability but under Trump, it looked different. In his administration, the department filed a lawsuit against Yale University because the school sought to include more Black and Hispanic students. Though the Ivy League university was accused of discriminating against white and Asian students, according to Yale.edu, the school’s population is 52% white.

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Students “should expect and know that they will be judged by their character, talents and achievements and not the color of their skin,” said the division’s current chief, Eric Dreiband, in October when he announced the case.

The president who strengthened the division during his time in office referenced the unit in a speech later that month.

“A president by himself can’t eliminate all racial bias in our criminal justice system,” Barack Obama said at a speech in Flint, Michigan on Oct. 31.

“But if we elect district attorneys and state’s attorneys and sheriffs focused on equality and justice, and we once again have a Justice Department and a Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department that cares about these issues, we can make things better.”

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Biden will focus on enforcing police reform, equal housing laws, improving workplace environments and education once he assumes office on Jan. 20.

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