President Joe Biden Signs 15 Executive Orders On First Day Reversing Donald Trump's Controversial Policies
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Joe Biden was sworn in as 46th President of the United States yesterday and after his inauguration he got on with his job straight away, signing 15 executive orders and two actions within hours, which reversed much of Donald Trump's legacy.
"Democracy has prevailed," he said as he took oath in the Oval Office, before telling the public at 17:15 local time (12:15am GMT) that there was no better time to "get to work" than right now.
Joe Biden issued an 100-day mask challenge to the country, also signing an executive order to make wearing a mask mandatory in all federal buildings and during interstate travel, in a bid to curb coronavirus infections, which have killed more than 400,000 in the US.
While signing the document, he told those in the Oval Office with him: "It's requiring, as I said all along, where I have authority, mandating masks be worn, social distancing be kept on federal property."
Biden has also brought back the position of Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense in order to help the pandemic - a role that was removed under Trump's rule.
Plus, one of his advisors Jeff Zients is now his "Covid czar". This means he will be briefing the President about the pandemic daily, and helping him work on testing, rollout of vaccines and PPE and many more key issues.
Crucially, Biden also rejoined the World Health Organisation (WHO), as promised.
Joe Biden wasted no time reversing all of Trump's immigration policies, too, including signing an executive order to revoke his infamous 'Muslim Ban', restricting over 12 predominantly Muslim countries from travelling to America.
He also pushed forward the Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) programme, which was delayed over the last four years, after being introduced under Obama. This will protect Americans who were brought to the US without documentation, but have lived there all of their lives - otherwise known as 'Dreamers'.
The executive order will seek to give these people an eight-year path to becoming a US citizen.
Plus, he has promised to protect Liberians from being deported from the US.
Crucially, he's also stopping the building of the wall along the US-Mexico border, and revoking the national emergency declaration laid out by Trump in 2018, meaning no more money will be taken from state funds for the project.
Biden will also immediately insure his administration offer new advice to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which oversees immigration-related arrests and detention, in order to ensure these are fairly handled, particularly putting an end to Trump's policies which separated families.
Upon taking office, Biden also rejoined the Paris climate agreement.
"We're going to rejoin the Paris climate accord as of today," Mr Biden announced, before signing the legislation.
He also signed an executive order stopping oil and gas from being drilled by private companies on federal land - ending the controversial construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Biden signed an executive order calling on moratoriums and evictions to be extended by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and three other federal departments, until 31st March.
He also signed an executive order freezing student loan debt collection until next September 30th.
Plus, he requested the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs guarantee over 11 million mortgages.
Three of Biden's executive orders aim to tackle racial inequality within the the US government.
He signed one, reversing Trump's ruling, and calling for undocumented immigrants who live in the United States to be included in the census, so that federal resources and congressional seats can be fairly distributed.
Plus, a second executive order has called for reviews into how government resources are allocated, with particular attention to any racial inequalities there may be. This order also ends the 1776 Commission, set up by Trump's advisory committee, to push forward "patriotic education" in American public schools.
Biden's final order tackling race promises to protect LGBTQ+ individuals from workplace sex discrimination, under federal law.
Mr Biden has signed an executive order making it compulsory for everyone who works in his administration to sign an ethics pledge, confirming - unlike Trump's team - that they would have no influence over the Justice Department and its decisions.
These executive orders are only the beginning for Biden and his Vice President, Kamala Harris.
Over the next 10 days, he has a total of 52 more executive actions he will seek to implement.
Today's will focus on the Covid-19 pandemic in more detail, laying out a plan, while Friday's executive orders will take a look at the US economy, and Biden's plans moving forward.