On his first day in office, President Joe Biden reversed nine of the policies introduced by his predecessor on key areas including immigration, racism and climate change.

Hours after being inaugurated the 46th president of the United States, Biden issued 17 executive orders, telling reporters “there’s no time to start like today”.

 

“I’m going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people,” CNN quoted him as saying in the oval office.

 

His administrative posture is a direct contrast with that of Donald Trump who, in the last four years, introduced bans targeting largely Muslim countries and blocked progressive policies on the environment and diversity.

Keeping true to his campaign promises, Biden halted the US’ departure from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and began the process of rejoining the Paris climate accord which Trump had said “disadvantages” Americans.

 

The accord is an international treaty on climate change signed by nearly 200 countries. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2°C and also strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change.

 

The 46th president also halted funding for the construction of Trump’s border wall at the US-Mexico border where more than 700km barrier has been built.

 

His first action was to impose a mask mandate on federal property, a break from the style of Trump who often downplayed the risk of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 412,000 Americans.

 

He also reversed a policy on census, now making it possible for non-citizens to be included in the census and apportionment of congressional representatives.

 

On equity, he rescinded the 1776 Commission which Trump established following a slew of Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country, and directed agencies to review their actions to ensure racial equity.

 

In addition to reversing the restrictions on US entry for passport holders from seven Muslim-majority countries, he also halted the expansion of immigration enforcement within the United States.