Earlier this week, Joe Biden’s transition team announced the president-elect is expected to sign 17 executive actions later this evening, following his inauguration.

It’s no secret – especially given the events of 2021 so far – that President Trump’s exit from the White House has been less than graceful.  Central to his legacy are serious rollbacks on environmental and immigration policies along with a widely panned pandemic strategy.

Biden will reportedly sign the day one executive actions in the Oval Office at 5:15pm today. This is expected to reverse many of the horrific policy decisions endured by Americans over the past four years, as well as introducing new policies to update the nation’s Covid-19 strategy.

He’s clearly not wishing to waste any time here.

With stark reminders lingering just about everywhere on how dire some of the events of the past four years have been, what can Americans expect Joe Biden to do on his first day as president?

Ending the ‘Muslim travel ban’

One of the first two Muslim women to serve congress in US history, Representative Ihlan Oma,r revelled in the news that one of Biden’s priority orders would be to repeal the ban on citizens of predominantly-Muslim nations from entering the US.

By far one of the most controversial moves of the Trump presidency,  the Biden transition team has slated it as “a policy rooted in religious animus and xenophobia”. 

It will instruct the State Department to restart the visa processing of visitors from countries such as Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement

A number of climate scientists and activists have expressed their relief at this one, with the United Nations being informed as soon as it is possible to do so.

The process will technically take 30 days, but when all is confirmed the US will once again be a member of the Paris Accord, which seeks to keep global temperature increases well below 2C.

A strategy better equipped for the undeniable way the world is changing.

Continuing the pause on student loan repayments

Student loan debts in the US reached record highs last year, at an estimated $1.6tr. Biden will instruct the Department of Education to pause student loan repayments until September at the very earliest.

More progressive members of the Democratic party – such as Elizabeth Warren – along with recent graduates argue that total debt forgiveness is the only solution, due to mounting interest rates.

Halting construction of the border wall

Years into the wall’s existence it transpired that the supposed construction of Trump’s hallmark Mexican border wall had been limited to simply replacing the fence that had already existed there.

Biden is set to order an “immediate pause” to the construction, in order to “allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used, and to determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior Administration to fund wall construction”.

Basically, don’t expect to see any more of that 2.4 per cent expanded upon.

Extending eviction moratoriums

A recent UCLA study found that the end of eviction moratoriums – legal protections for those plunged into unstable housing last year – may have caused over 400,000 additional COVID cases and as many as 10,700 additional Covid-19 deaths nationwide.

Biden will ask the Centers for Disease Control to consider extending this until the end of March.

It’ll be a welcome move from the one in five renters and one in 10 homeowners with a mortgage who are behind on payments,  according to the transition team, answering the calls of housing rights campaigners in the wake of Trump’s lacking financial package.

Protecting young undocumented ‘Dreamers’

Legislation introduced by the Obama-Biden administration offered numerous protections for the children of undocumented immigrants. As expected, the Trump administration went through numerous attempts to roll back the progressive policy to the point where the Supreme Court had to put a stop to it.

From today, the president-elect says he is “committed to preserving and fortifying” these uncertain immigration conditions, and will call on congress to enact permanent legislation.

So, what next?

Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan claims these orders will be “the first steps we’ll be taking to re-engage in the world and advance the interests of working families in this country”.

The man himself woke up feeling optimistic today in the wake of his newfound power.

With the inauguration over, we should see the outcome of many of these orders in the coming days.

MORE: After four, tumultuous years, we've reached the end of Donald Trump's presidency

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