Biden to repeal Trump's Muslim travel ban & rejoin Paris Agreement on 1st day as US President

A long laundry list of to-do items awaits the incoming 46th President of the United States.

Matthias Ang | January 18, 2021, 12:02 AM

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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is set to sign several executive orders on his first day as President, both CNN and Washington Post reported.

Chief among these are the repeal of several decisions by U.S. President Donald Trump, such as lifting the travel ban on several Muslim majority countries and rejoining the Paris Climate Accord.

Other orders include mandating the wearing of masks of federal property, and halting of evictions and student loan payments amidst the pandemic.

He is also expected to send legislation to Congress detailing a new immigration bill, along with a US$1.9 trillion (S$2.5 trillion) plan aimed at stabilising the U.S. economy.

One of Biden's campaign promises was to take immediate action upon assuming office

In a written memo, Biden's Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, highlighted that Biden will take action to not just reverse the "gravest damages" of the current Trump administration, but to also move the country forward.

Klain also highlighted that taking immediate action was one of the promises Biden made while on the campaign trail.

As per Klain:

"During the campaign, President-elect Biden pledged to take immediate action to start addressing these crises and build back better. As president, he will keep those promises and sign dozens of executive orders, presidential memoranda, and directives to Cabinet agencies in fulfillment of the promises he made."

What is the travel ban?

The travel ban pertains to an executive order that Trump issued within days of assuming office in 2017, banning the entry of travellers from the following five countries — Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria — into the U.S..

The ban was the outcome of a pledge by Trump on the 2016 U.S. Presidential election campaign trail to enact a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States".

At the time of the order's implementation, Trump's administration had argued that people from these countries posed a security risk to the U.S..

Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement

2017 also saw Trump first announce his intention to withdraw from the global climate pact in 2017, calling the Paris Agreement "job killing" and arguing that it would "punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters".

However, the Trump administration was only able to file the withdrawal three years after the ratification of Paris Agreement in 2019.

The Trump administration then notified the UN Secretary-General on Nov. 4, 2019, its decision to withdraw from the Agreement, which took effect a year later.

The official withdrawal came in the midst of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.

In response, Biden tweeted;

Biden will be sworn in as U.S. President on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20 at noon (1am, Jan. 21 Singapore time).

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