Biden to reverse Trump Muslim ban in inauguration day speech

Sunday, January 17th, 2021 23:52 |
US President Donald Trump. Photo/AFP

Washington, Sunday

On his first day in office, US President-elect Joe Biden plans to issue a number of executive orders, including one rescinding the controversial travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries.

According to a memo circulated on Saturday by Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff, the new US administration will launch a spate of reversals on policies implemented by US President Donald Trump over its first 10 days in office.

These also include new coronavirus prevention efforts, rejoining the Paris climate change accord, and immigration legislation allowing for millions to gain citizenship.

Shortly after taking office in 2017, Trump issued an executive order that banned travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States.

That order was, however, reworked several times amid legal challenges and a version of it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018.

‘Poison of hate’

Analysts say the ban could easily be undone as it was issued by executive order and presidential proclamation, though lawsuits from conservative opponents could delay the process.

“As president, I’ll work with you to rip the poison of hate from our society to honour your contributions and seek your ideas.

My administration will look like America, with Muslim Americans serving at every level,” Biden said in October.

Other reversals include the extension of pandemic-related limits on evictions and student loan payments, the imposition of mask mandates in federal property and interstate travel, as well as a solution to reunite immigrant children separated from their families, the memo said.

Biden also plans to submit new legislation to provide for the naturalisation of 11 million undocumented people currently living in the country, in addition to a pledge to vaccinate 100 million people in his first 100 days in office.

Biden had previously announced he will push Congress to approve a $1.9bn stimulus package to tackle an economic slump caused by the coronavirus.

The FBI is investigating whether foreign governments, organisations or individuals provided financial support to people who helped plan and execute the January 6 attack on the Capitol, a news report said on Sunday.

As part of the investigation, the FBI is examining payments of $500,000 in bitcoin, apparently by a French national, to key figures and groups in the far right before the riot, one current and one former FBI official told NBC News.

The payments were documented and posted online last week by a company that analyses cryptocurrency transfers. Bitcoin payments can be traced because they are documented on a public ledger.

The current FBI official was quoted as saying the bitcoin transfers appear to have been made by a French computer programmer who took his own life on December 8 last year after triggering the transfers, according to French media.  - BBC

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