President Biden’s Executive Orders: A Look at his First Day in Office

By Yewon Chae, Staff Writer

On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Just hours into his presidency, Biden worked swiftly to sign more than a dozen executive orders. “There’s no time to start like today,” he stated.


While his deployments dealt with a wide range of topics, including climate change, the global pandemic, and immigration, many sharply targeted former President Donald Trump’s policies. Biden plans to tackle the demands and crises of the U.S. by reversing the decisions of the Trump administration and implementing new orders.


Here’s a look at some actions Joe Biden took on his first day as president of the United States and the impact they may have on Americans:


Climate Change

By reversing Trump’s formal withdrawal in 2019, Biden has allowed the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. This international treaty with 189 participants aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limit global warming to well under two degrees celsius, and fortify countries’ ability to adapt to the effects of climate change. 


Also, Biden revoked the permit for the controversial construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Though some argued that Biden’s new policies would impact the environment for the better, Republicans have criticized them, stating that many oil and gas jobs will be lost.


COVID-19 Pandemic

Biden has also made efforts to slow the spread of the virus and alter the response to the pandemic’s impacts. 


He mandated that masks be worn, and people be socially distanced on federal lands. He has also urged Americans and officials to practice safety measures throughout his first 100 days in office by starting the “100 days masking challenge”. “We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation,” he declared.


Eliminating Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO), Mr. Biden reinstated the country’s membership, funding, and connections to this group. Additionally, Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert appointed by Biden, spoke at this organization’s virtual board meeting. As he is the head of the U.S. delegation, this event stressed the commitment to the global health crisis.



The president worked to reverse the strict policies on immigration deployed by the Trump administration.


Biden fortified legal protections for undocumented immigrants challenged by the Trump administration by safeguarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Prominent during Obama’s presidency, this program shielded thousands of young immigrants, or “Dreamers,” from deportation. 


Finally, one of Biden’s seventeen executive orders issued hours after assuming office demanded the halt of Trump’s United States-Mexico border wall. This order states that the administration will direct a review on the legality of diverting federal funds to the wall. 


Together, Biden and his team have laid out the priorities of their agenda and signaled the announcement of many more actions throughout his presidency ahead.