Capital Update: President Biden signs executive directives on DACA, immigration and more

By Emory Office of Government & Community Affairs | Emory Report | Jan. 21, 2021

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Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the nation’s 46th president on Wednesday, Jan. 20, and later that day signed 17 executive directives, which include executive orders and proclamations.

Several of these directives advance causes supported by Emory University, such as sustainability and efforts to fight climate change. The president’s actions will provide additional protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and also end the travel restrictions placed on several predominantly Muslim and African counties. Emory joined lawsuits to rescind the travel ban and provide greater support and legal protections to undocumented students.

Biden also enhanced coordination of the response to the pandemic, notably in the areas of medical equipment production and vaccination distribution, which will support the work of Emory Healthcare. Today, Biden released the “National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness,” touted as a comprehensive roadmap to guide America out of the pandemic.

Below are some of the executive orders Biden signed Jan. 20:

  • Order the U.S. to rejoin the World Health Organization
  • Require masks be worn on all federal property and by all federal employees 
  • Strengthen Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections 
  • Rescind the restrictions on travel from some Muslim-majority countries
  • Rescind action excluding noncitizens from the U.S. Census
  • Extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums 
  • Continue a pause on federal student loan interest and principal payments
  • Begin the process to rejoin the Paris climate accords 
  • Revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Impose moratorium on oil and natural gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 

The White House is expected to take additional actions in coming days and the Office of Government & Community Affairs will continue to provide periodic updates to the Emory community.