As Joe Biden begins Day 1 of his presidency, the first order of business is to tug the final string attached to the thread of Trump‘s divisive policies, unraveling a slew of policies that helped divide the nation over the last four years.
Biden’s executive actions carry out the vision of his 100-day plan, and will also target underserved Black populations stressed under the weight of two pandemics, racism and the coronavirus.
Like his predecessor Barack Obama who once remarked he would use his “pen” and “telephone” to garner change when he was presented with gridlock from a majority Republican Senate, Biden has set out a series of 17 executive actions, 15 of which are executive orders, which he will sign into action on Wednesday. According to CNN, nine of the 17 actions directly reverse Trump’s policies.
Biden plans to initiate a 100 days federal mask mandate, enforcing social distancing in federal buildings and federal lands. The mandate comes as the death toll from the pandemic rises above 400,000, disproportionately affecting Black and brown communities. Biden will also reinstate the “Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense,” which will help with the response coordination of the virus, the distribution of PPE and other preventative measures. Biden also seeks to extend the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention until at least March 3. The extension will also include foreclosure moratoriums for federally backed mortgages under the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs.
Biden will end the racist Muslim ban on Wednesday. The policy was one of Trump’s first executive orders when he took office in 2017, which restricted travel and immigration to the U.S. from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. He later added several West and East African countries with large Muslim populations including Eritrea, Nigeria, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and Tanzania in 2020.
Undocumented migrants who live in America will be counted in the next Census, undoing Trump’s order to do the opposite in the summer of 2020. The switch helps allocate monies for underrepresented communities as well as contributing towards federal representation in Congress. reversing allocation of money and federal representation
Another executive action will reinforce the Biden administration’s commitment to DACA, by asking Congress to grant a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, young people who migrated to America with their families often escaping persecution and violence.
Biden will also extend protections for Liberians who are living in the United States under the status of “deferred enforcement departure” until June 2022. The Biden administration will also divest from building the border wall and will also explore the arrest priorities for ICE, reversing a 2017 mandate enforcing stricter immigration enforcement.
First on Biden’s docket was dismantling the 1776 Commission report which sought to disenfranchise the role Black Americans played in history, ignoring the racist foundation and ideals that fostered chattel slavery in America.
Under one of the executive actions, the Office of Management and Budget ran by Susan Rice will examine federal budgets to ensure that money is being allocated to underserved communities of color.
Another executive action plans to strengthen workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This allows federal protections for members of the LGBTQ community.
Biden will extend the pause payments on student loans until September 30th. Many hope that Biden will make good on his campaign promise to cancel $10,000. That specific initiative will require the backing of Congress before it can placed into action.
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