Biden Signs Orders To End ‘Muslim Ban,’ Rejoin Paris Climate Accord & WHO
President Joe Biden signed 15 executive orders just hours after entering office on Wednesday.
These orders will reverse some of former President Donald Trump‘s key policies, including the so-called “Muslim ban,” rejoining the Paris climate accord and ending the process to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Some of the executive action I’m going to be signing today are going to help change the course of the COVID crisis, we’re going to combat climate change in a way that we haven’t done so far and advance racial equity and support other underserved communities,” Biden said.
Tackling and beating the COVID-19 pandemic is one of Biden’s many challenges he plans to confront. To try and tame the virus, which has killed more than 400,000 people across the country, Biden signed an order to institute a 100-day mask mandate across the U.S., and appoint a COVID-19 coordinator to manage a national response to the pandemic.
Here are the key orders signed by Biden:
Overturning the ‘Muslim Ban’
Trump signed an executive order in 2017 that banned travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States. Biden overturned the order the afternoon he entered office.
“The president put an end to the Muslim ban, a policy rooted in religious animus and xenophobia,” Biden’s White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during a Wednesday night briefing.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations welcomed Biden’s decision to repeal the ban, the group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said, “it is an important fulfillment of a campaign pledge to the Muslim community and its allies.”
Rejoining Paris Agreement
Biden signed an order that will allow the U.S. to become a party to the Paris Climate Agreement once again.
The U.S. became the first country in the world to withdraw from the treaty in November, creating tension between Washington and its European allies.
According to Biden’s team, rejoining the international treaty on climate change is expected to take effect 30 days after it is delivered to the U.N.
Re-engaging With WHO
The Biden-Harris administration is to halt Trump’s planned withdrawal from the World Health Organization, the administration expected to participate in an executive board meeting with the WHO sometime this week.
Trump notified Congress and the United Nations that the U.S. was formally withdrawing from the WHO in July.
Trump claimed the WHO “failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms” and accused the group of helping China cover up the origins of the coronavirus.
Stopping Border Wall Construction
Biden revoked the national emergency declaration that was used to justify some of Trump’s funding diversions to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
Biden’s team said the order will direct “an immediate pause” in construction to allow for a review of the funding and contracting methods used.
Revoking Keystone Pipeline Approval
The presidential permit granted to the multibillion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline was repealed by Biden on Wednesday.
Although Canada was “disappointed” about Biden’s repeal, Matthew Campbell, staff lawyer at the Native American Rights Fund, said Biden’s decision is “vindication” for Native communities opposed to the pipeline.
Biden directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to make sure that DACA is preserved and fortified.
The DACA provides temporary relief from deportation to “Dreamers,” young people who were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents.
The memorandum calls on Congress to enact legislation that would provide “permanent status and a pathway to citizenship” to the Dreamers.