Biden Administration signs executive orders

Biden in Oval Office
Photo/KOCO 5 News

President Biden was sworn into office on January 20, 2021. His administration has already signed many executive actions that include coronavirus response, the environment, workplace protections, regulation and immigration. 

An executive order is a directive made by the President of the United States asking federal agencies to take a specific action. An executive order is different than a bill or an act that is sent to Congress. An executive order does not require legislative approval.

On his first day in office, President Biden also introduced the Citizenship Act of 2021 to Congress who will vote on the bill later this year.

Here is a brief summary of what the immigration executive orders do:

  1. Repeal the travel ban (also known as the “Muslim ban”). 
  2. Extend protection from deportation and work authorization for Liberians under the DED program until June 30, 2022. 
  3. Direct Congress to permanently protect DACA program recipients. 
  4. Stop construction of the border wall. 
  5. Require non-U.S. citizens to be included in the US Census count for redrawing congressional districts in 2021. 
  6. Create a Task Force to Reunify Families. The Task Force will seek to reunite families that were separated at the border by policies of the Trump administration. The Task Force will review current policies and provide recommendations.
  7. Develop a strategy to create a humane asylum system on the southern border in three parts. First, develop a strategy to combat instability, violence, and economic insecurity that cause migration. Second, work with partner governments and nonprofits to help asylum seekers closer to their homes. Third, help Central American refugees and asylum seekers have legal ways to come to the U.S.
  8. The Biden administration directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to review the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.
  9. Re-establishing the Task Force on New Americans and directing federal agencies to review their recent policies and guidance to ensure that they do not set-up barriers for immigrant integration.
  10. Calls for a review of the public charge rule and take action within 60 days. It overturns the Trump administration’s requirement that a family sponsor repay the government if relatives receive public benefits.

President Biden had signed a 100-day pause on deportations executive order. The order would focus deportations only on certain groups such as those that are convicted of serious crimes or pose a threat to national security. The State of Texas sued the Biden administration saying the pause on deportations violates the U.S. Constitution, federal laws, and an agreement between Texas and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On Tuesday, January 26, a judge temporarily blocked the 100-day pause on deportations.

You can view all the Biden administration’s executive orders on the White House website

Here are some highlights of other executive actions taken this week:

COVID– Expanded coronavirus response including a 100 day nationwide mask wearing challenge, extension of the pause on evictions, rejoining the World Health Organization, increased support for vaccine roll out, and an extension of the pause on student loan repayment. Learn more on our coronavirus information hub.
– Require the use of masks on air travel. People coming to the U.S. from other countries will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
– COVID-19 restrictions for people traveling to the U.S. from the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa due.
HealthcareDirects federal agencies to examine policies that may make access to the Affordable Care Act difficult. Reopens ability to enroll in from Feb. 15 to May May.
Environment– U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, cancel the Keystone XL pipeline agreement, and review environmental actions taken by the last administration.
Civil Rights– Enforce protection from discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.
– Reverse ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.
– Increase protections from discrimination for workers and review government policies to improve racial equity.
Economy– Establish the foundation for $15 minimum wage in federal jobs and restores the rights of federal employees to bargain collectively and join unions.
– Requires federal agencies to improve access to federal programs to help people who have suffered job loss, food and housing insecurity, and increased challenges due to the coronavirus.
National Security-Blocks property ownership in the U.S. by Myanmar military leaders and any person associated with those leaders or undermining democracy or human rights in Myanmar.
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