The announcements also included orders to review all of Trump's actions weakening climate change protections, the revocation of a vital permit for TC Energy's Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada, and a moratorium on oil and gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that Trump's administration had recently opened to development.
Joe Biden's spokesperson Jen Psaki said his first call to a foreign leader would be on January 22 to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- after Biden blocked the Keystone XL pipeline fiercely opposed by environmentalists but backed by Ottawa.
US President Joe Biden signed 17 executive actions shortly after being sworn in as President undoing policies put in place by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, and making his first moves on the pandemic and climate change. Biden said there was "no time to waste" in issuing the executive orders, memorandums and directives.
"Some of the executive actions 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" said Biden. “These are just all starting points.”
The Democratic president signed included a mask mandate on federal property and for federal employees, an order to establish a new White House office coordinating the response to the corona virus, and halting the process of withdrawing from the World Health Organization.
Biden revoked Trump's emergency declaration that helped fund the construction of the Mexico border wall and ended a travel ban on some majority-Muslim countries. "In the coming days and weeks, we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the president-elect's promises to the American people," Psaki said. Further actions would include revoking the ban on military service by transgender Americans, and reversing a policy that blocks U.S. funding for programs overseas linked to abortion.
Biden is also likely to reverse the Trump administration’s proposal to revoke work authorisation for spouses of H -1B visa holders and take other steps to reduce the employment immigration backlog.
This proposal is the type of reform the legal immigration community has been seeking for years,” said Nandini P. Nair, partner at law firm Greenspoon Marder. “If this Bill can actually become law, it would substantially decrease the wait time for green cards for many foreign nationals from backlogged countries, such as India and China.” Orders, memorandums, and proclamations deal with immigration.
He ordered efforts to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program known as DACA that has shielded hundreds of thousands of people who came to the US as children from deportation since it was introduced in 2012. He also extended temporary legal status to Liberians who fled civil war and the Ebola outbreak to June 2022.