From the beginning of the US Presidential election, the newly elected President, Joe Biden's, campaign promised to undo several of Trump's administration policies on Day 1 of his presidency. Biden was set to sign 17 orders and actions just hours after being sworn in as US leader, thus officially breaking from policies of departing president Donald Trump. They will set new paths on immigration, the environment, fighting COVID-19, and the economy.
Ron Klain, Biden's incoming chief of staff, laid out a memo the executive orders the new president will issue in the early days of his administration.
As Biden stated at the beginning of his campaign, he will sign an order returning the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement. The Obama administration played a lead role in crafting the international accord to lower greenhouse gas emissions, which Trump withdrew the US from. "America's withdrawal from the international arena has impeded progress on the global response and left us more vulnerable to future pandemics."
Biden is also set to implement sweeping changes to the energy and transportation sector to reach the States' Paris emissions goals. Some of Biden's next steps will be to sign orders to direct the Education Department to extend a pause on federal student loan payments and interest. He'll extend the ban on evictions and foreclosures resulting from the pandemic, and to reverse Trump's travel ban on some Muslim-majority nations.
Biden signed an executive order ending the travel ban on citizens from several countries. These countries include Eritrea, Yemen, Nigeria and Sudan. The bar was imposed by Trump when he first entered the office and is referred to by President Biden as discriminatory. It was criticised as a "Muslim ban" when it was first revealed but eventually included some non-majority-Muslim nations.
The wall was one of Trump's pet projects during his 2016 presidential campaign. Biden has now ordered that border wall construction between Mexico be halted – a welcomed move by the neighbouring country.
The memo also stated that Biden will sign an order requiring masks to be worn on federal property, and for interstate travel.
Biden has said he'll use part of his inaugural address to urge Americans to commit to wearing masks for at least 100 days. This is to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that has now killed almost 400,000 Americans.
Klain also wrote that Biden is set to submit a broad immigration proposal to Congress. Biden will continue to sign executive orders through the first 10 days of his presidency.
On day two, Biden was set to sign more actions related to testing and other measures for the coronavirus. He will direct agencies to "take immediate action to deliver economic relief to working families bearing the brunt" of the coronavirus crisis.
In his second week, Biden will sign "Buy American" provisions. Other executive actions on criminal justice reforms, racial equality measures, climate, immigration and access to health care also await his signature.
"While the policy objectives in these executive actions are bold, I want to be clear: the legal theory behind them is well-founded and represents a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the President," Klain said.