President Biden signs several executive orders on first day in office



Mandi Karpo, Staff Writer

President Joe Biden signed 17 new executive orders on his first day of office, five of which relate to Immigration Policy Reform.

The issues addressed in the orders include protecting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, putting an end to the Muslim travel ban enacted by the Trump administration in 2017, ordering U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop prioritizing arrests of undocumented immigrants and pausing construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The Biden administration has announced a plan to provide an immediate path to legal citizenship for undocumented individuals. According to the executive order, individuals can be eligible for a green card within five years if they pay taxes and have been cleared of a criminal and national security background check.

University sophomore Jonathan Gerweck said “Biden’s decision to allow illegal immigrants the opportunity to obtain citizenship is not only logical, but it’s humane and American,” says Gerweck.

Aside from President Biden’s amended immigration process, he also signed an executive order lifting the travel ban instated under the Trump administration that restricted travel and visa applications from a number of Muslim-majority countries.

Gerweck said, “To increase awareness, we must discuss this legislation more and promote its hopes to increase democracy in our country, that always has, and always will be founded on the backs of immigrants who came with a dream.”

Biden has also signed executive orders, memorandums and proclamations focused on the pandemic response, climate change, encouraging racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality as well as the economy and government accountability.

Jeffrey D. Zients was appointed as the official COVID-19 response coordinator, and while not nationally mandated, he is urging all Americans to participate in a “100 days masking challenge.”

Biden has also reinstated the World Health Organization from which the Trump administration withdrew back in June despite rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.

In regards to climate change and environmental policy, Biden has signed a letter notifying the United Nations that the United States will be re-entering the Paris Climate Accords, a coalition of nearly 200 countries working together aiming to move away from planet-warming fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.

With Biden prioritizing changes in legislation, University students are finding it important to spread awareness of what these new executive orders entail and how they will affect the community.