Soon after being sworn in as President on Wednesday, 20 January, Joe Biden is expected to announce an immigration bill that is likely to open a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants, reported Reuters.
Earlier this week, news reports suggested that Biden plans to sign an executive order to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and to end the travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries, on his first day in office.
According to a CNN report, he will also sign orders to prevent evictions and student loan payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
This is in sharp contrast to the policies of the outgoing and 45th President of US Donald Trump.
These decisions were mentioned in a memo sent by Biden’s incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain.
“These executive actions will deliver relief to the millions of Americans that are struggling in the face of these crises. President-elect Biden will take action – not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration – but also to start moving our country forward,” the Associated Press quoted Klain.
"During the campaign, President-elect Biden pledged to take immediate action to start addressing these crises and build back better. As President, he will keep those promises and sign dozens of executive orders, presidential memoranda, and directives to Cabinet agencies in fulfillment of the promises he made," Klain’s memo added.
The Immigration legislation will offer a path to citizenship for 11 million people in the US illegally. Under the legislation, those living in the US as of 1 January 2021 without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status if they pass background checks and fulfill other basic requirements including paying taxes. From there, it's a three-year path to naturalisation, reported IANS.
This is also likely to protect from deportation people who came to the country illegally as children.
On Friday, economic relief to those suffering the economic costs of the pandemic will be addressed, the memo added.
Biden is also expected to rejoin the World Health Organisation (WHO), which the country exited under Trump.
(With inputs from CNN, Reuters, IANS)