Biden signs a set of executive actions to promote racial equity

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a set of executive actions aimed at promoting racial equity in the United States, news wires reported.

Speaking to reporters from the White House, Biden pledged to address racism in federal housing policies, restore the voting rights act, and eliminate the use of privately-operated criminal detention facilities, among other actions, in an effort to combat the effects of systemic racism.

Over 2 million people are currently incarcerated in the US, with a disproportionate number of people of colour behind bars, according to a White House fact sheet. The majority of people in prison and jails are in state facilities, which are not impacted by Biden's executive order on federal prisons.

He also promised to direct federal agencies to combat the resurgence of xenophobia, particularly against Asian Americans, who Biden noted have faced discrimination and hate crimes during the pandemic.

Biden also reversed the Trump administration's ban on diversity and sensitivity training.

Biden's presidential campaign has promised to promote racial justice in the US, especially after the police killing of George Floyd in May sparked nationwide protests calling for systematic change to the criminal justice system.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in the US state of Texas has issued a temporary order halting President Joe Biden's 100-day ban on deportations, in a blow to Biden's early attempts to reform the US immigration system, dpa reported. Judge Drew Tipton sided with the state of Texas, which sued the Biden administration seeking to halt the deportation ban, one of Biden's first acts as president. The government "fails to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations," Tipton said. He noted Texas had "demonstrated a substantial risk of irreparable harm" because the order could cause an influx of undocumented immigrants to the state.

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