Biden Signs 17 Executive Orders on First Day as President

By Lily Wolfson

New York City, New York

Biden signed seventeen executive actions, memoranda and requests to agencies from the Oval Office (Photo Credit: New York Times)

Just hours after the Inauguration on Wednesday, President Joe Biden began working at the resolute desk. He signed seventeen executive actions, memoranda and requests to agencies on cash relief, the pandemic, racial equity, immigration and climate change. Biden also froze many of President Donald Trump’s travel and immigration restrictions and moved to send Congress an immigration bill to create pathways to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. Below are the seventeen executive orders signed by Biden on his first day as president.


  1. Biden halted Trump's emergency declaration to funnel money into building the United States-Mexico border wall; Biden completely terminated all construction on the Trump-era border wall.

  2. Biden ended the travel ban Trump had placed on seven majority-Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

  3. Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accord as part of his broader plan for a clean energy revolution.

  4. Biden extended foreclosure and eviction bans through the month of March.

  5. Biden took away the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, revoked oil and gas development at national wildlife monuments and reversed rollbacks on vehicle emissions standards.

  6. Americans must wear masks and social distance in federal buildings, on all federal lands and in airplanes and buses across state lines.

  7. Biden reversed Trump’s census plan, ordering for undocumented immigrants to be counted in the 2020 Census.

  8. The United States will rejoin the World Health Organization.

  9. Biden appointed Jeff Zients as the official COVID-19 response coordinator and re-established the directorate for global health security and biodefense at the National Security Council.

  10. Biden strengthened protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and called on Congress to enact legislation that will pave the way for permanent status and citizenship.

  11. Biden ended Trump’s 1776 Commission and reinstated diversity and inclusion training for federal agency workers.

  12. Biden banned workplace discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

  13. Biden extended the pause on federal student loan interest and principal payments until September 30.

  14. Biden established ethics rules for people who serve in the Biden administration, requiring the executive branch appointees to sign an ethics agreement that keeps them from acting out of personal interest and gain.

  15. Biden froze all last-minute Trump administration regulations.

  16. Biden blocked deportation and extended work authorizations for a group of Liberian people who have been seeking refuge in the United States until June 2022.

  17. Biden ordered the Office of Management and Budget to analyze if federal funds are being allocated equitably to communities of color.

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