As President-elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn into office in the United States Wednesday, there are a number of immediate policy changes that affect the global community and Africans in particular.
Biden vowed to reverse the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO), a decision made by outgoing President Donald Trump, and to realign the U.S. with the global response to the COVID pandemic. He also promised to rejoin the Paris Agreement on Climate Change that Trump stepped away from in 2017.
“The instrument will be deposited with the United Nations today, and the United States will officially become a Party again 30 days later,” the White House said in a statement on the climate policy. “The United States will be back in position to exercise global leadership in advancing the objectives of the Agreement.”
Biden also plans an immediate revocation of two executive orders from the Trump administration that restricted immigration from African and majority-Muslim nations that included Libya and Somalia. They were, according to the White House, “rooted in religious animus and xenophobia.”
The new administration’s order directs the U.S. Department of State to restart visa processing for countries subject to the Trump ban and “to swiftly develop a proposal to restore fairness and remedy the harms caused by the bans, especially for individuals stuck in the waiver process and those who had immigrant visas denied.”
Another provision will extend protections for Liberians living in the United States under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) designation through June 2022.
To see more from the Biden administration Day One policy fact sheet, check this link.
Image: Biden-Harris Presidential Transition