After 24 Hours

Photo Credit: Time Magazine

Sajina Jacob – Staff Writer

President Joe Biden signed 15 executive orders during his first day in office, stating on Twitter, “There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face.” Here are some of the actions he took.

He extended the pause on student loan payments until September 30.

This action gives an estimated 42 million student loan borrowers a break from their payments and accruing interest as a continuation of the CARES Act, according to CNBC.

He ended the travel ban on some majority Muslim countries.

Biden directed the State Department to restart visa processing for individuals from affected countries and asked the agency to develop ways to address harm caused to those prevented from coming to the United States because of the ban, according to KIRO.

He restored DACA to its original form.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protected immigrants from deportation if they came to the US as children. The Supreme Court blocked Trump’s attempt to end the program, but Biden is now taking steps to preserve it, according to CNN.

He revoked the emergency declaration that funded the building of a wall along the Mexican border.

This will pause the construction of the wall and will distribute the funds elsewhere.

“It [the wall] stands as a marker of hate, racism and xenophobia in our land, which is sacred to us. We’re a binational community … this kind of scar does not stand for who we are,” said Marisa Limon, Human Rights and Migration Activist, “The executive order that is requiring that the construction of the border wall ceases is very important to us.”

He put in place a federal mask mandate and social distancing protocols on all government property.

This included the launch of the “100 Days Masking Challenge.” While this mandate is enforced on all federal property, cities and states can still make their own rules, according to the BBC.

He ordered a new office to be set up for the pandemic.

He appointed eight new members to the COVID-19 response team to help implement his pandemic response strategy.

He stopped the US withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

This will reverse former President Trump’s decision. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, will lead the American delegation, according to CNN.

He signed an order to begin the process of rejoining the Paris Climate agreement.

The agreement’s goal is to limit global warming to below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The former president withdrew from this agreement in November of 2020.

He revoked the permit granted to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The Keystone Pipeline is an oil pipeline system in the US and Canada commissioned in 2010. This pipeline sparked past protests from climate and indigenous groups, according to the BBC.

He ordered deeper interpretation of the Civil Rights Act.

This will prohibit workplaces from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, sex and national origin, according to KIRO.

Since his first day, the President has signed more executive orders. While he overturned many of the former President’s policies, he also set to work on increasing the nation’s response to COVID and other environmental and humanitarian issues.

The following websites detail the orders that have currently been signed since then.