Soon after setting foot in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden started cleaning the “mess” left by former president Donald Trump. Among the 15 executive orders, memorandums and directives that he signed on day one, included rescinding the “Muslim ban”, rejoining the Paris climate accord, and ending the process to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Later, the president told reporters that he has “no time to waste”.

Trump signed “Muslim ban” executive order in 2017, barring travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.

The ban was changed several times amid legal challenges and ultimately upheld by the US Supreme Court in 2018.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations welcomed the decision as “an important first step toward undoing the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant policies of the previous administration”.

Several civil rights organisation, including the American Civil Liberties Union, also welcomed the repeal of the law.

Biden’s most urgent challenge is the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 400,000 lives across the country.

He told reporters that some of the executive orders he’s going to sign today are going to help change the course of the COVID crisis. He signed an order to institute a 100-day mask mandate across the US and appoint a COVID-19 coordinator to manage a national response to the pandemic.

He has also announced that the US would remain a member of the WHO, and that Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, would attend the ongoing WHO Executive Board meeting at the head of the US delegation.

Biden announced that the US will once again become a party to the Paris Agreement.

In November, the US became the first country in the world to withdraw from the Paris treaty – a move that fuelled tensions between Washington and its allies in Europe and drew a widespread rebuke from environmental and human rights groups.

Biden also ordered to stop the construction of a wall near Mexico border.

Other major immigration orders passed by Biden include reversing plans to exclude people who are in the country illegally from the 2020 census, and preserving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The programme has shielded thousands of people who came to the US as children from deportation.

However, his most ambitious immigration reform will be a bill that gives legal status and provides a path to citizenship to anyone in the country before January 1. It will help an estimated 11 million people. The bill also aims to reduce the time that family members must wait outside the US for green cards.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at


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