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FYI: On April 1st, low-income immigrants will slowly begin regaining the access to food assistance that they lost when Washington remade public assistance in 1996. The first stage of a law passed last year takes effect at the month’s end, allowing permanent residents and those with legal status for at least five years who qualify for aid to begin receiving food stamps. This fall, children with legal status for any length of time will gain access to the program. Immigration and hunger groups are urging clients to begin applying for the program, but worry that many fear that doing so will hurt their immigration status. Check out the City Limits archive for Jason Stip’s exploration of the chaos that reigned in the opening years of welfare reform, as the city and state haphazardly tried to keep select immigrants in the food stamp program. [3/19/03]

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