Statement by the President: Observance of World Food Day (10/16/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt)

For Immediate Release
October 16, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today, as we observe World Food Day and resolve to continue our work
to combat hunger worldwide, I urge Congress to enact my budget proposal to
help those here at home by ensuring that legal immigrants have access to
critical nutrition and health assistance. Vice President Gore and I believe
that legal immigrants should have the same economic opportunity, and bear
the same responsibility, as other members of society.  Upon signing the
welfare reform law, I made a commitment to reverse unnecessary cuts in
benefits to legal immigrants that had nothing to do with the law?s goal of
moving people from welfare to work.

     In 1997 and 1998, I joined Congress in taking steps to restore
eligibility for many vulnerable immigrants.  Now, it is time to restore
benefits to other legal immigrants who are working hard and playing by the
rules, but are in need of assistance.  This action would be an important
step toward making sure this country does its part to reduce hunger.
Congress must also act now to restore state options to extend Medicaid and
SCHIP coverage to vulnerable legal immigrant women and children.  I look
forward to working with members of Congress in these final days of the
budget negotiations to increase access to nutrition assistance and health
benefits for legal immigrants.


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