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Biden to sign 15 executive orders on day one as president

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden. File   | Photo Credit: AP

Hours after being sworn in as the 46th U.S. president, Joe Biden would sign 15 executive orders – including rejoining the Paris climate agreement, a 100-day mask mandate and reversing the Muslim ban – undoing some of the major policies of his predecessor Donald Trump.

Mr. Biden's first presidential actions would also include sending a comprehensive bill on immigration to the Congress, incoming White House officials said.

The immigration bill proposes a eight-year pathway to illegal immigrants and removing the per country cap for employment-based green cards, a move that would benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals in the U.S., whose current wait period for legal permanent residency runs into several decades.

"President-elect Biden is taking historic action on day one to advance his agenda — including signing 15 executive actions and asking agencies to take steps in an additional two areas. This compares to two day one executive actions from Biden's four predecessors in the White House combined,” incoming White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Mr. Biden will continue to take action over the next 10 days — and over his entire time in office — to address the four crises that he's laid out, she said.

Also read: On Day 1, Joe Biden to reverse Donald Trump orders

Mr. Biden will sign executive orders, memoranda, directives and letters to take initial steps to address COVID-19 pandemic, providing economic relief, tackling climate change and advancing racial equity, officials said.

Mr. Biden will take action – not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration – but also to start moving the country forward. These actions are bold and begin the work of following through his promises to Americans, according to a fact sheet issued by the Biden Transition.

One of his first acts would be to launch his “100 Days Masking Challenge,” asking Americans to mask up for 100 days. He will issue an executive order requiring masks and physical distancing in all federal buildings, on all federal lands, and by federal employees and contractors.

Mr. Biden will also take action to cease the Trump administration's process of withdrawing from the World Health Organisation. The Biden-Harris administration with Dr Antony Fauci as the head of the delegation will participate at the ongoing WHO executive board meeting. Dr Fauci is America's top infectious disease expert.

Once the U.S. resumes its engagement with WHO, it will work with the world health body and its partners to strengthen and reform the organisation, support the COVID-19 health and humanitarian response and advance global health and health security.

Mr. Biden will sign an executive order creating the position of COVID-19 Response Coordinator, who will report directly to the President and be responsible for coordinating all elements of the COVID-19 response across government.

Also read: Biden ropes in 20 Indian-Americans, 17 in key White House positions

Mr. Biden will sign the instrument to rejoin the Paris accord, according to incoming White House officials. The instrument will be deposited with the UN on Wednesday, and the U.S. will officially become a party again 30 days later.

In addition, he will sign an executive order that takes critical first steps to address the climate crisis, create good union jobs and advance environmental justice, while reversing Trump administration's harmful policies, the officials said.

Through another executive order, Mr. Biden will begin the work of embedding equity across federal policymaking and rooting out systemic racism and other barriers to opportunity from federal programs and institutions.

The order will define equity as the consistent and systematic fair, just and impartial treatment of all individuals, including from underserved communities like Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and religious minorities.

Mr. Biden will sign an order to revoke Trump administration's orders of setting out an unlawful plan to exclude non-citizens from the census and apportionment of Congressional representatives.

He will sign an executive action, putting an end to the Muslim Ban, a policy rooted in religious animus and xenophobia, officials said.

It repeals Mr. Trump’s proclamations, which restrict entry into the U.S. from primarily Muslim and African countries, and instructs the State Department to restart visa processing for affected countries and to swiftly develop a proposal to restore fairness and remedy the harms caused by the bans.

Also read: Joe Biden unveiling $1.9T plan to stem virus and steady economy

By a proclamation, Mr. Biden will declare an immediate termination of the national emergency declaration that was used as a pretext to justify some of the funding diversions for the Mexico border wall.

In another executive order, Mr. Biden will order every appointee in the executive branch to sign an ethics pledge to ensure that executive branch employees act in the interest of the American people and not for personal gain.

Mr. Biden will issue a presidential memorandum withdrawing Trump administration's regulatory process executive orders to remove those needless obstacles to regulating in the public's interest. He will direct Office of Management and Budget Director Neera Tanden to develop recommendations for improving and modernising regulatory review.

Mr. Biden will sign a presidential memorandum directing Homeland Security to take appropriate actions to provide temporary relief from deportation on a case-by-case basis to Dreamers. It will call on Congress to enact law providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for people who came to the U.S. as children and have contributed to the nation for many years.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 7:12:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/biden-to-sign-15-executive-orders-on-day-one-as-president/article33617410.ece

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