Among Pres. Joe Biden’s first actions was signing an order to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities. The 46th president had pledged to do his part in the fight against systemic racism in America.
Susan Rice, Biden’s choice to helm the Domestic Policy Council, will lead his administration’s efforts to advance racial equity as well as work for the advancement of other underserved communities like LGBTQ persons and people with disabilities.
The order will apparently jump-start a host of government initiatives.
The president said he wants all federal agencies to review equity in their programs and actions. With the executive order, Biden demanded that the Office of Management and Budget analyze whether federal dollars are equitably distributed in communities of color.
Biden signed an executive order to rescind the 1776 Commission, a somewhat controversial panel formed by the Trump administration apparently to challenge the New York Times’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, which was developed into a school curriculum about the origins of the slave trade. According to Biden’s transition team, the new president said the commission “sought to erase America’s history of racial injustice.”
Biden will also revoke Trump’s executive order limiting federal agencies from implementing diversity training. He also signed an executive order that defines equity as the “consistent and systematic fair, just and impartial treatment of all individuals,” according to the transition team.
Among the other “equity-related” executive actions taken by the president was ordering that non-citizens count in the U.S. Census.
That order reverses Trump’s order last summer prohibiting the Census Bureau from counting undocumented Americans.
The Biden administration said Trump’s order violates the U.S. Constitution.
“It is inconsistent with our nation’s history and our commitment to representative democracy,” The White House noted. “President Biden will ensure that the Census Bureau has time to complete an accurate population count for each state and he will then present to Congress an apportionment that is fair and accurate, so federal resources are efficiently and fairly distributed for the next decade.”
The president also moved to protect workers from discrimination, and he called on Congress to grant permanent status and a path to citizenship to Dreamers. In keeping with another campaign promise, Biden also signed an order to end the Trump-imposed travel ban on individuals from Muslim countries.
He ordered the U.S. State Department to restart visa applications for affected countries.
Biden also ordered the immediate stoppage of funds toward a border wall with Mexico.