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State of the Union 2021: what executive orders has Joe Biden signed?

The President will address Congress to speak about his first 100 days in office, which has seen him use executive actions to reverse various Trump-era policies.

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State of the Union 2021: what executive orders has Joe Biden signed?
AL DRAGO / POOL EFE

President Joe Biden will give his first address to a joint session of Congress this evening in what is generally referred to as a State of the Union address.

He is expected to reflect on his first 100 days in the White House, a milestone that has particular importance in presidential history. As well as passing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, Biden has also enacted a startling number of executive orders on a whole variety of issues, from building up vaccination supplies to winding down construction of Trump’s border wall.

Biden goes big with early executive orders

Biden began his presidency with a flurry of executive actions on Inauguration Day, and he has signed more than 60 of them in his first 100 days in office. Nearly half of them (24) are direct reversals of legislation signed into law by Trump, which Biden has said he considers “bad policy”.

So far the largest proportion of these orders focuses on tackling the coronavirus pandemic (15), while 12 of them relate to immigration policy. The changes to immigration policy are largely just reversals of Trump-era rules with ten of the 12 orders signed by Biden undoing a Trump policy. Central among these was a removal of the travel ban which targeted majority Muslim countries.

On 2 February Biden signed a raft of actions on immigration, many of which undid legislation that was introduced by Trump, saying: “What I’m doing is taking on the issues that — 99% of them — the last president of the United States, issued executive orders I felt were very counterproductive to our security, counterproductive to who we are as a country, particularly in the area of immigration.”

What executive actions has Biden signed since entering the White House?

  • Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
  • Ensuring a Lawful and Accurate Enumeration and Apportionment Pursuant to the Decennial Census
  • Organizing and Mobilizing the United States Government To Provide a Unified and Effective Response To Combat COVID-19 and To Provide United States Leadership on Global Health and Security
  • Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
  • Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel
  • Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis
  • Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing
  • Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal Regulation
  • Revision of Civil Immigration Enforcement Policies and Priorities
  • Ensuring a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 and Future High-Consequence Public Health Threats
  • Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery
  • Establishing the COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board and Ensuring a Sustainable Public Health Workforce for COVID-19 and Other Biological Threats
  • Improving and Expanding Access to Care and Treatments for COVID-19
  • Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel
  • Protecting Worker Health and Safety
  • Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers
  • A Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain
  • Economic Relief Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Protecting the Federal Workforce
  • Enabling All Qualified Americans To Serve Their Country in Uniform
  • Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America's Workers
  • Reforming Our Incarceration System To Eliminate the Use of Privately Operated Criminal Detention Facilities
  • President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
  • Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad
  • Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act
  • Creating a Comprehensive Regional Framework To Address the Causes of Migration, To Manage Migration Throughout North and Central America, and To Provide Safe and Orderly Processing of Asylum Seekers at the United States Border
  • Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families
  • Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans
  • Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs To Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration
  • Blocking Property With Respect to the Situation in Burma
  • Establishment of the White House Office of Faith- Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Revocation of Executive Order 13801 (Trump EO on expanding apprenticeships)
  • America's Supply Chains
  • Revocation of Certain Presidential Actions
  • Promoting Access to Voting
  • Establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council
  • Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free From Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
  • Termination of Emergency With Respect to the International Criminal Court
  • Establishment of the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States
  • Blocking Property With Respect To Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation