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On the first day in office, Biden signed 17 decrees: how they will change your life

Much of the first day in office of US President Joe Biden was spent undoing many of the administrative actions that his predecessor took. More details about the changes told the publication The National News.

Photo: Shutterstock

Biden signed 17 executive documents, including the country's re-accession to the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Agreement.

It also lifted travel bans for citizens of several Muslim countries and stopped construction of the Donald Trump Wall on the US-Mexico border.

COVID-19 and the economy

Federal mandate for masks

The decree requires federal employees and contractors to wear masks and maintain social distancing in all federal buildings for 100 days to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also holds the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) responsible for liaising with state and local municipalities on mask wearing and physical distancing.

Return to the World Health Organization

Biden returned the United States to the World Health Organization by repealing Trump's executive order that initiated the US withdrawal from the organization shortly after the outbreak of the pandemic last year.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will lead the US delegation to the World Health Organization and will speak at its Executive Board meeting on January 21.

Restructuring the federal government's response to COVID-19

Biden's executive order will restructure the federal government's response to the pandemic and create the position of COVID-19 response coordinator.

Biden's team has announced that Jeff Zientes, a member of the Barack Obama administration, will take over the post.

The decree also restores the National Security Council's Office of Global Security and Biosecurity, a division that the Trump administration dismantled in 2018.

Extension of the moratorium on eviction and foreclosure

Biden asked the CDC to extend the federal eviction moratorium until March 31, 2021, while urging Congress to extend it further and provide rental assistance.

Extending the Freeze on Student Loan Payments

Among other things, Biden asked the Department of Education to extend the moratorium on federal student loan payments until at least September 30, 2021.

Climate and environment

Joining the Paris Climate Agreement

Biden signed a memorandum to join the Paris Climate Agreement, thus canceling Trump's withdrawal from the agreement.

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The memorandum was immediately deposited with the UN, giving the US the opportunity to re-sign the agreement.

Restoring environmental standards

Biden has reinstated environmental regulations lifted by the Trump administration, especially regarding climate change.

The decree includes a reassessment of vehicle fuel efficiency and emission standards, as well as a temporary moratorium on oil and natural gas production in the Arctic.

He also reinstates the Inter-Agency Working Group on Calculating the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases and revokes Trump's approval for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Immigration and equality

Federal Initiative to Advance Racial Equality

Biden's new decree aims to eradicate systemic racism in federal government programs and agencies.

It requires each federal agency to submit an action plan within 200 days to address unequal treatment.

He is also abolishing a Trump-created commission that has released a report widely criticized by historians for its tales of slavery.

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He also repeals Trump's decree that limited the ability of federal agencies to deliver training on diversity and inclusion.

Reinstating Non-Citizens in the U.S. Census

By his decree, Biden canceled the exclusion of non-citizens from the US census, which is used to determine the constituencies in the House of Representatives.

Maintaining and strengthening protection for the "dreamers"

Biden also signed a decree restoring protection to DACA program participants, which the Trump administration has contested and sought to reverse.

The DACA program provides work permits and deportation assistance to more than 640 immigrants brought to the United States as children.

The White House said the new president is "a supporter of maintaining and strengthening DACA."

His presidential memorandum directs the head of the Department of Homeland Security, after consultation with the attorney general, to take all appropriate measures in accordance with the law to protect DACA.

He calls on Congress "to pass legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for people who came to this country as a child and lived, worked, and contributed to our country over the years."

Biden has fulfilled a promise he made at the start of the campaign by lifting visa restrictions that Trump imposed on 13 Muslim-majority countries.

The restrictions Trump called the "Muslim ban", they were introduced shortly after he took office in January 2017.

Biden took executive action to end "politics based on religious hatred and xenophobia," the White House said.

“It repeals Proclamations 9645 and 9983, which restrict entry into the United States from predominantly Muslim and African countries, and instructs the Department of State to resume visa processing for affected countries and quickly develop a proposal to redress and remedy the damage caused by the ban, especially for those stuck. in the process of refusal, and those who were denied an immigration visa, "- commented representatives of the White House.

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But the decree, among other things, provides for "strengthening travelers' screening by expanding the exchange of information with foreign governments, and also directs reviews of other" extreme screening "methods of the Trump administration."

Cancellation of Trump's deportation order

Biden overturned a 2017 decree that required extreme measures to ensure immigration control and prioritized the deportation of 10,5 million illegal immigrants to the United States.

"This recall will enable the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to establish civilian immigration control policies that best protect the American people and are in line with our values ​​and priorities," the White House said.

Termination of construction of the border wall

Biden signed an executive order ending Trump's 2018 state of emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border with the aim of luring billions of dollars to build the wall.

The state of emergency and the construction of the wall were suspended by Biden's decree.

Trump campaigned on a promise to build a wall, but then said that "Mexico will pay for it."

The US Customs and Border Protection Agency estimates that the US government has allocated $ 15 billion to build more than 1120 kilometers of the wall.

“The bipartisan majority in Congress refused in 2019 to fund President Trump's plans to build a massive wall along the southern border, even after he shutdown over the issue,” Biden said. "Then he wasted billions of dollars on this construction."

In the proclamation, Biden announces "the immediate termination of the national emergency declaration that was used as an excuse to justify certain deviations in funding for the wall," and mandates an immediate pause in the wall project to allow a close examination of the situation, the legitimacy of the financing methods used and the contracting ".

Delayed Forced Departure for Liberians

Another immigration decree signed by Biden was to "extend to June 30, 2022, Deferred Forced Departure (DED) for Liberians who have been in the United States for many years."

Liberia is the only country with a DED of approximately 10 people. Trump sought to wind down the program and complete it by the spring of 000.

The memorandum "instructs the head of the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that Civil Immigration makes it easier for Liberians to apply for a residence permit under the Liberian Aid and Justice Act and make timely processing."

Preventing and Combating Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

This decree, signed by Biden, offers legal protection to all Americans, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

"The Biden-Harris administration will prevent and fight discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation," the White House said.

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

"This decree will also oblige agencies to take all legal steps to ensure that federal anti-discrimination laws covering gender discrimination prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, while protecting the rights of LGBT people."

Ethics and rules

Executive staff ethics

This decree obliges every executive in the Biden administration to continue to fulfill ethical obligations.

It is designed to "ensure that executive officers act in the interests of the American people and not for personal gain," and obliges "federal employees to maintain the independence of the Department of Justice."

In power, Trump relaxed those rules. He overturned a decree that prohibited executive officials from lobbying the agency in which they worked.

Regulatory decree and presidential memorandum

This Biden order reinstates US government regulatory action.

He instructs the head of the Administration for Management and Budget "to develop recommendations for improving and modernizing the regulatory review."

“These recommendations will create a process for promoting rules that promote public health and safety, economic growth, social well-being, racial justice, environmental protection, human dignity, justice, and the interests of future generations,” Biden said.

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