Biden signs 17 Executive Orders, reverses Visa Ban, returns US to WHO

January 21, 2021
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The President of the United States, Joe Biden, who was sworn into office on Wednesday, in less than 12 hours signed 17 Executive Orders, reversing several foreign policy decisions of former President Donald Trump.  In one of the Executive Orders, President Biden reversed Trump’s restriction of immigrant visas to Nigerians and some other countries.

Trump had in January 2020, extended immigration restriction to six more countries, which included Nigeria.

The 17 Executive Orders signed by President Joe Biden on resumption of duty after inauguration as US President are the following:

1. Executive order on mask/coronavirus: This mandates the use of masks and physical distancing in federal buildings, on federal lands and by government contractors. The President encouraged states and local governments to implement same COVID-19 intervention guidelines.

2. Executive order on WHO:
Stops the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) as earlier directed by Trump.

3. Executive order on COVID-19 response: Establishes the position of COVID-19 Response Coordinator who will report directly to Biden and manage efforts to produce and distribute vaccines and medical equipment.

4. Executive order on nationwide moratorium: The Order extends the existing nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until at least March 31.

5. Executive order on student loan: Extends the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for Americans with federal student loans until at least September 30.

6. Executive order on Paris Climate Accord: this Order returns the US to the Paris Climate Accord, a process that will take 30 days.

7. Executive order on Keystone XL pipeline: The Order cancels the Keystone XL pipeline and directs agencies to review and reverse more than 100 Trump actions on the environment.

8. Executive Order on racial equity: This obliterates the Trump administration 1776 Commission, directs agencies to review their actions to ensure racial equity.

9. Executive order on gender equity: This prevents workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

10. Executive order on census:
This Order requires non-citizens to be included in the Census and apportionment of congressional representatives, reversing another Trump’s policy.

11. Executive order on immigration: This fortifies the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) after Trump’s efforts to undo protections for undocumented people brought into the country as children.

12. Executive order on some passport holders: This reverses the Trump administration’s restrictions on US entry for passport holders from seven Muslim-majority countries.

13. Executive order on immigration enforcement:
This reverses Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement within the United States.

14. Executive order on border wall:
This halts construction of the border wall by terminating the national emergency declaration used to fund it.

15. Executive order on deportation: This order extends deferrals of deportation and work authorizations for Liberians with a safe haven in the United States until June 30, 2022.

16. Executive order on ethics:
This requires executive branch appointees to sign an ethics pledge barring them from acting in personal interest and requiring them to uphold the independence of the Department of Justice.

17. Executive order on regulation: Directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to develop recommendations to modernize regulatory review and undoes Trump’s regulatory approval process.

It was said that the Biden administration had hinged part of its electioneering campaign on recognition of diversity, and intends to re-open the United States of America to the world.

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