BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - President Joe Biden signed a number of executive orders in the first 24 hours in office. Several of the new action items deal with student education services.
“Typically on Inauguration Day, you would have a a whole bunch of Inauguration balls. You wouldn’t typically see a president sign so many executive actions,” said Peter Jones, Assistant Professor of Public Administration at UAB.
The long list of executive orders includes actions that impact both current and former students.
President Biden extended the Trump Administration’s pause on federal student loan payments until September - which means you don’t have to pay towards your loan right now and it’s not accruing interest.
He also dissolved Trump’s 1776 Commission that was tasked with reviewing Social Studies education curriculum in America. The commission faced criticism for its lack of diversity and its recent report on American History teaching recommendations.
“There was a lot of criticism from historians,” said Jones, “On some of the tone and the language and a lot of the things that were missed.”
Executive orders tied to COVID-19 will directly impact schools. Biden has signed an order opening up FEMA disaster aid money to help pay for PPE and cleaning supplies in schools.
An additional executive order moved to “preserve and fortify” protection for the roughly 2 million undocumented immigrant children brought to the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.
“It doesn’t protect people who have felonies or misdemeanors,” said Jones, “But it does protect people who were brought her at an early age until those in Congress do some type of immigration legislation.”
Latin American Civil Rights Activists say they have met with the new administration and will be in DC next week to follow efforts to get a bill through Congress.
“I met with President Biden and Vice President Harris,” said Domingo Garcia, League of United Latin American Citizens, “They promised me and other civil rights leaders they would have a comprehensive immigration bill and it would be forwarded through Congress this week.”
Civil Rights leaders believe the immigration bill could make it through the House, but have concerns about getting enough votes to get it through the Senate.