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Memorandum on the Eligibility of Aliens for Food Stamps

August 22, 1996

Memorandum for the Secretary of Agriculture

Subject: Eligibility of Aliens for Food Stamps

Under the provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which today I signed into law, aliens receiving food stamps as of the date of enactment will continue to receive benefits until recertification of their eligibility, which shall take place not more than 1 year after enactment of the law. The results of the certification, including decisions as to an individual's immigration classification, veteran status, or work history, will determine whether the individual remains eligible for benefits under the Food Stamp program. Implementation of these new procedures will pose a substantial challenge for all involved Federal and State agencies.

To ensure that eligibility determinations are made fairly, accurately, and effectively, I direct you to take the steps necessary under your authority to permit the State agencies to extend the certification periods of currently participating aliens, provided that no certification period is extended to longer than 12 months, or up to 24 months if all adult household members are elderly or disabled, and provided that in no event shall certifications be extended beyond August 22, 1997.

I further direct you to notify the States of the actions you have taken.


NOTE: This memorandum was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on August 23.

William J. Clinton, Memorandum on the Eligibility of Aliens for Food Stamps Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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