BIDEN’S FIRST 10 PRESIDENTIAL ORDERS

Biden

Mr Biden issued more than ten executive actions, which included the country’s re-entry into the World Health Organisation and Paris climate accord.

They also repealed the travel ban against several Muslim-majority countries, and ended construction on Donald Trump’s unfinished wall on the US-Mexico border.

What Mr Biden’s first official presidential actions entail.

1. Federal mask mandateThis order requires federal employees and contractors to wear masks and keep physical distance in all federal buildings and on federal lands for 100 days to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. It also puts the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in charge of engaging with state and local municipalities to implement mask wearing and physical distancing.

2. Re-enter World Health Organisation

Mr Biden re-entered the World Health Organisation, reversing Mr Trump’s executive action that initiated the US withdrawal shortly after the pandemic began last year. Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will lead the US delegation to the World Health Organisation and deliver remarks at its executive board meeting on Thursday.

3. Extension on home eviction and foreclosure moratorium

Mr Biden asked the Centres for Disease and Control Prevention to extend the federal eviction moratorium until March 31, 2021, while calling on Congress to extend it further and provide rental assistance.

4. Extending freeze on student loan repayments

Mr Biden asked the Department of Education to extend the freeze on federal student loan payments until at least September 30, 2021.

5. Rejoin the Paris climate accord

Mr Biden signed the memorandum to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, reversing Mr Trump’s withdrawal from the accord. The memorandum was immediately deposited at the UN, paving the way for the US to re-enter the agreement in a month.

6. Federal initiative to advance racial equality

This order is designed to root out systemic racism in federal government programmes and institutions.

It requires every federal agency to deliver an action plan within 200 days to address unequal barriers to opportunity, among other directives. It also revokes Mr Trump’s 1776 commission, which released a report on Monday that was widely panned by historians for its narrative about slavery. Lastly, it repeals Mr Trump’s order that limited the ability of federal agencies to conduct diversity and inclusion training.

7. Restore counting of non-citizens in US census

This order repeals Mr Trump’s executive action that excluded non-citizens from the US census, which is used to determine congressional districts in the House of Representatives.

8. Preserving and fortifying protections for Dreamers

Mr Biden signed an order restoring protection for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that the Trump administration challenged and tried to remove.

The Daca programme grants work permits and deportation relief to more than 640,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children. The new president “is committed to preserving and fortifying Daca”, the White House said. His presidential memorandum directs the secretary of homeland security, in consultation with the attorney general, to take all appropriate action under the law to protect Daca.

It also calls on Congress “to enact legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for people who came to this country as children and have lived, worked and contributed to our country for many years”.

9. Deferred enforced departure for Liberians

Another immigration order signed by Mr Biden was “to extend until June 30, 2022 the long-standing deferred enforced departure designation for Liberians who have been in the United States for many years”.

Liberia is the only country with DED, which covers about 10,000 people. Mr Trump had sought to wind down the programme and end it by spring 2020.

The memorandum “directs the secretary of homeland security to ensure that Citizen Immigration Services facilitates ease of application and timely adjudication for Liberians applying for residency by the Liberian Relief and Fairness Act”.

10. Preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation

This order signed by Mr Biden offers legal protection for all Americans, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. “The Biden-Harris administration will prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation,” the White House said.

It builds on the US Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v Clayton County (2020) to ensure the federal government interprets Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“This order will also direct agencies to take all lawful steps to make sure that federal anti-discrimination statutes that cover sex discrimination prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ persons.”

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